June 21, 2016

Dad’s On A Hunting Trip – Part 2

sm_20160530_221834-1The first part of this painting is located here.

I started the painting strong and then it quickly got away from me. Colours weren’t working. The background was fighting with the foreground. It was generally pretty much a dog’s breakfast.

But that’s okay, because the key concept here is, I started out strong.

Good foundations make for good paintings. Sometimes those paintings just need more time and effort to get to where they’re going.

I set this aside and moved on, knowing I’d come back to it.

In between, I painted two Sherlock paintings which you can read about here and here. These paintings matter, because I had a style breakthrough while working on them.

20160620_191721-1One of the goals I have as an artist is to grow. If you’ve watched my work for a while, you can see styles morph and change over time. From dull colours and tight lines, to loose lines, to bright colours and now to paint dabs of unexpected colours. This growth is important ,because otherwise I’d become a painting robot and that gets boring for everyone really quickly.


Taking a fresh look at the painting, I realised that the only way to deal with it was to address the background. It’s actually the largest space and has an incredible impact on the painting itself. I had played with flat colour but it wasn’t working so I went back to shadows and lights and immediately saw a change.

I actually got a hint of how badly the painting wasn’t working when someone *cough ANDREA cough* made a comment about how the piece didn’t feel like one of my paintings. Andrea knows my art since she’s my booth babe. The very fact that this painting, in its unfinished state, bothered her was a big clue that I was going about it all wrong.


One of the things Andrea had talked to me about was my use of colour. That talk, which I appreciated because constructive criticism can be incredibly helpful, made me take a second look at how I was painting. It not only affected this piece, but the previous Sherlock ones as well.


So I added in colour. Unexpected colour. All over.


Thinking about what I loved about certain paintings. Artists that I follow. Historical art that I love. What is the common draw?

Unexpected colour. Purple and teal in shadows. Bright pink on the face. Neon orange on a blue shirt. Colours you’d never expect to see in those places and yet they work. They work.


“Dad’s On A Hunting Trip”

16″ x 12″

Acrylic on canvas