No, I’m not posting those kinds of pictures, but it seemed like a fun title for a blog post, especially when I’m trying to just suggest the background, without any detail. I’ve been trying to keep my work a bit looser and sketchy, and I’m finding the backgrounds for such work to be a challenge. Here are a couple of recent examples:
Simplicity is important in these experiments, and I am forcing myself to avoid small brushes until close to the end. The study above may go a bit too far in separating the main subject from the background, but I think that’s because of the almost monochromatic, cool palette in that area that is so different from the foreground subject. It’s almost like two different paintings. Food for thought when I pick this piece up again.
“Oyster Boat” is another example of trying to keep things simple. In this one, I think the almost abstract background works better, probably because the same color palette continues throughout the entire painting. The brushwork is much looser and more expressive. It’s so easy to tighten up on a subject like this and start picking at details. I’ve tried to avoid that and just play with the colors and the brushes. This one is quite a departure for me, but I really do like it.