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Saturday, May 21, 2011

What's on the easel? ...cont.

So, what do you do when a painting is not going well?

I thought I had a good handle on this painting after completing the monochromatic block-in. I expected this past week's work to go smoothly. Well, not quite so fast Speedy. This has turned out to be one of those times when dissatisfaction followed dissatisfaction.
Almost from the beginning I felt that a palette of chromatic black, cadmium red, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow medium and lemon yellow would be sufficient to achieve the desired mood. Color swatches were made to test the theory. Chromatic black is a bluish black. I thought it would work well to gray color, but also mix well with the yellows in order to achieve a nice variety of greens.
As I began to apply color, serious doubts arose as to the appropriateness of the palette so ultramarine blue was added. Well, things proceeded downhill from there.

When problems arise such as these, what is one to do? The answer...always go back to basics...concept, composition, drawing, value and color.
Originally, the problem appeared to be wrong color choice, but in reality it was an unresolved concept.
Yes, the values were set, establishing the mood, but what was the painting about...and where was the point of focus to be...on the train, on the tunnel and beyond, or somewhere else? These questions should really have been answered from the very beginning.
When the ultramarine blue was added, it immediately became evident it was a wrong choice. It was removed and I continued on with the original palette choice.
A natural focal point of the painting is the view through the small tunnel. A truck was added for interest. I never felt completely comfortable with that choice, so it was removed. The house added nothing to the portrayal of a small rural town scene, so that soon was changed to a filling station. The storyline and focus of the painting was moved from background to foreground with the addition of three young friends.

With the focus changed, the decision was made to change the KCS locomotive colors from the colorful new color scheme to the older grey model. More work yet to do before I can sign this.
The next time this painting is posted, it will have been professionally photographed and on its way to Kansas City for the "Kansas at 150 Years" show.

Here's where you come in.
Submit your title suggestion for this painting one of two ways...through the "Comment" box below or to
If I select your title, you will be awarded a free Pototschnik print from my print collection.
Deadline for entry: 5:00 PM, Friday, 27 May.

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