Sunday, August 8, 2010


Some painters paint from background
to foreground. I have seen painters
paint from top to bottom. My practice
is to start with the darkest dark
regardless of where it is in the scene.
I paint on white or off-white canvas so
the color of my canvas becomes the
brightest bright and now I have my value
range established.

I usually key in the sky last making it
whatever I need to tie all of the elements
of the painting together. Sometimes this
approach doesn't work out as well as I
would like and I end up with a painting
that looks disjointed. Such is the case with
this painting of Mission San Jose in
San Antonio.

"San Jose" 18" x 24" oil/c

When I first completed the painting
I liked the result. As is my custom I
put it away in the closet for two
weeks then took another look at it.
Thought I was going to throw up.

I made the decision to try and salvage
the painting primarily because I had
already promised my gallery I had
a completed mission painting they were
going to love. So I covered it in Liquin
and starting with the sky reworked the
entire painting except the foreground.
Below is the rekeyed painting.
Darker darks, brighter brights, more
reflected lights, a more active sky and
an overall more pleasing painting.

"Mission San Jose" 18" x 24" oil/c

Now all I have to do is find a frame.


Nikki Atkinson said...

Much better! Doesn't that feel good, to resurrect a painting. There must be gnomes in that closet, like mine. Paintings change when you hide them from yourself for a while.

Rusty Jones said...

Like many things stuck in a closet they turn pale and lose their reason for being.