Coop to Let Oils on canvas board 6 x 6 inches SOLD
This little oil sketch was doomed for the fire...
After a good start, blocking in the shapes and colours its journey went downhill. Paint after paint...and pushing it around, nothing was working. It was a mass of green. Feeling exasperated, I reached for my paper roll...tore off a sheet, pressed it down onto the surface and peeled off the offending layers of paint. Voila! Sir Arthur Tonks to the rescue.
Whilst not exactly a masterpiece, this little piece was saved and has taken on a poignant feel. The small coop in the orchard was home to our Rhode Island Red hens until they decided to foolishly fly over the fence to investigate the rest of the garden. Well...it is not always greener on the other side as Mr Reynard was waiting to introduce himself.
I will not say more about this matter.
Studio Musings...where I went wrong
I was looking at this little sketch after I posted it here to see what I was doing wrong. I changed my photograph of the painting to black and white and the mistakes were glaringly obvious. I am posting the monochrome image here...
Amongst other things...I can now see a lack of tonal values. There is no sense of direction. It does not tell a story and I seem to have forgotten my colour palette. I was overdosing on greens of similar values.
I returned to my reference photo of the hen run to look for clues....
The colours and values in this photo look to be made up of 'mostly, some and a bit' (reference Greg Albert, 'The simple secret to better painting' 2003). Mostly light, some middle value and a small amount of dark. I had completely overlooked this useful formula in my haste to get painting.
I began asking myself questions...The little coop (which was my main focal point in the painting) actually falls into the light value range...shall I change this? The dark value behind the fruit trees has an element of mystery about it...what is behind there? Is that where the fox hid? The apex of the coop roof leads the eye into this mysterious woodland area. Shall I make more of this dark area?
In my re-paint I shall follow Greg Albert's formula 'Mostly, some and a bit'. Perhaps I can turn this little study into a dramatic event.
I shall return.