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Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Painting: "Afternoon Luncheon"

Finally, 'That Painting", is finished...signed, varnished, framed, and now boldly displayed at the G. Stanton Gallery in Dallas. HERE it is on my website. Click on the image to supersize.
I say, 'That Painting' , because that's what it became. It has pretty much been the focus of my thoughts and energy, when it came to painting, since the day I began it. Not that I worked on it for all these months...but awareness of it was always there. You may remember when this project began back in July. I spoke of it in this blog. You can read about it HERE.
Afternoon Luncheon - 32"x 46" - Oil on canvas

"Afternoon Luncheon" was a challenge from start to finish. If you want proof that not all my paintings go smoothly, this is it.
The idea for this work really began two years ago when I did a series of small color studies as preliminaries to a possible commission. The color study shown here was selected, but it was agreed that, for the room in which it would be displayed, it would be best to invert the image.

Color study

The study was done using white, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, and cadmium yellow pale. Before beginning the studio painting, I experimented with other color choices. The switch was made to Prussian blue and lemon yellow. I also added yellow ochre and cadmium yellow medium.

Testing the selected palette

Prussian blue is a greenish blue. The thinking at the time was, it would be a more suitable color for capturing the tree covered hills descending toward Lake Como. By adding additional yellows it would also be possible to mix a greater variety of greens. I had only used Prussian blue one other time. It worked well for the color charts but, on this larger painting with so much green, it was difficult to control. If you haven't used Prussian blue, it is similar in color and strength to phalo blue.
I regretted selecting that color by the time the block-in was completed (shown below).Not sure I will ever use this color again.

Partial block-in showing some of the preliminary drawing

As the painting proceeded, it was necessary to redesign some of the architecture, as well as parts of the retaining wall. Since the original design was inverted, I felt the water needed additional consideration. With no suitable reference for what I wanted to achieve, the water was painted from imagination.

Completed block-in with some areas now fully developed

Nothing about this painting was easy, even the framing created a whole set of issues...but hey, it's done. The response to the work has been amazing...and that, dear friends, makes the challenge and anxious moments all worthwhile.

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