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Mystic River (with detail views)

September 9, 2010


For the record, this is from a reference photo taken on a creek near Mount Vernon, Ohio in August.  I took a number of shots in this area, and another, similar, one, to serve as references for more experimental work.

I’m trying to take a bit more time as I paint, giving more thought to variations in color, color temperature, and brushwork, trying not to be a documentary painter, but rather a more emotional one.  I’ve often received comments that my work strikes a chord in people, reminding them of places and times in their past.  I certainly want to retain that, but also carry it a bit further, to touch the emotions that are affected by color, light, and deep shadow.

Strong color does not come easy to me.  But I’m getting there.

Here are a couple of enhanced detail views:

On occasion, people comment that my work resembles oils.  I’m certain that’s because I study primarily oil painters.  For awhile, I latched onto that comparison, and found myself working more and more like an oil painter.  But recently, I find myself embracing the full range of the qualities of gouache, making use of the opaque paint that’s thicker than transparent watercolor to get stronger brushwork, but no longer avoiding those wet, washy passages that the watercolor nature of gouache allows.  The combination is allowing me to get more interesting edges as well.

There’s a slightly larger image on my ‘showcase’ blog.

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