In the Background

Here are some photos of the progress of my most recent project.

With my paintings I’ve usually been so carried away with the desired final image that I’m left with a flat, boring background that needs a lot of attention. Then it’s often not easy to fix up the background without compromising what I’ve already done. The division between the two can then seem contrived.

This time I tried to start with a background, building up layers of text and symbol in the beginning instead of trying to add something later.

I wanted to try this after seeing Heather Carr’s blog ( ).

Here are the first stages of the background:

While working on the background I played around with ideas suitable for the eventual subject of the painting: such as this small sketch:

This idea was later added to the canvas using diluted flesh colour paint, highlights of red and detailed with a shiny pearl-white. The result was quite impressive from a distance if seen in the right light, but up close looked featureless and insipid.

I’ve now done more work to fix the “insipidness” by adding darker flesh tones,  but haven’t yet been able to take a suitable photograph. Additional photos of progress will have to wait for another post.

4 thoughts on “In the Background

  1. It was the BEST kind of inspiration – the kind that encouraged me to try a different approach to painting that suits the kind of work I want to do.

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