September 12, 2012

Back to an unfinished painting

I went into my studio today, where I've had the painting of the Jefferson Memorial I started in the spring sitting, just sitting, on an easel for months.  So many things about the start were ok, but they were completely overwhelmed by what I felt was the dullness of the painting.  My first thought was that it's time to get rid of it.  My second thought was to put the energy into it that it really needs.

Color was the first issue.  I don't remember why the palette was so limited when I was working on it outside, but it definitely needed to have a much broader range of color.  Focus was the next.  You'd think with an iconic image like that, it would be easy to think about the focus, but I thought the original painting drew you to the center bottom column for no good reason at all.  Perspective was a problem too --  the city seen beyond the memorial was too big, too blocky.

I'm partway into reworking this and liking it much better, enjoying the challenge of solving the problems.  I can still see that the line of shadow and light that I thought was so interesting on the right side of the memorial is too rigid and I will break that up as I continue on.

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