Dream Time Oils on canvas board 5 x 7 inches
Artists dream...well I know I do. Mostly about the next painting, trying to keep up the momentum of a daily painting challenge. So far, so good.
One of my pleasures in front of the easel is to put a blank canvas or board up and make the first marks. Painting is all about making marks. Some work, some are scrubbed out or 'tonked'. Actually, tonking with some paper pressed onto the paint leaves a softer image and can be a saviour. Piling paint on top of paint to recifiy mistakes is not helpful and usually wastes oils.
For daily painting my favourite sizes are 6 x 6 and 5 x 7 inches. I have some supports already coloured with a wash, maybe sienna or a blue or occasionally pink magenta. Others are left white. I like them all.
If I choose a coloured one little parts of this under-painting are allowed to peep through in parts and this can add interest. This support was white and I began scrubbing on the paint (phthalo blue with a little magenta) in the top right corner. This was also carried down into the water and marshy parts. Magenta, lemon yellow and white were used for the rest of the sky, sculpting a light part for the sun streaks.
The land is quite flat around this marsh area with the occasional post sticking up. Boats use these waters around the Norfolk coastline and I have seen old relics resting at an angle in the mud. I wanted this painting to be simple and empty of human presence so I focused on the shapes of the mud banks and the standing water.
I used a half inch brush for most of the work to keep it loose. A smaller short, flat brush was used for the reflective strokes, quickly and lightly 'whizzed' across the surface to suggest light on the water.