|Version II / Light Effects, oil on canvas 48 x 36 inches $5800 unframed|
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT
Reworking a painting by using a a couple of strategies to create improvements.
Here I took a perfectly good oil and reworked it to create a more subtle and elegant effect.
Video: Ken describes how he transformed an existing oil into a better one by reducing the number of elements in the painting. 4 minutes
Written in August 2017:
I began this oil (Version I) as a demo for the workshop that Casey Klahn and I put on in 2017. The dark trees in the upper left are just as they were painted in that day. For the demonstration, I wanted to offer the example of a very direct and strong start.
The background was also laid in with strong colors but as the painting progressed over the last few months, what remained was the strong lighting at the top as the the strong colors in the background were toned down, causing them to recede.
All of these moves were done to improve the painting rather than create a more realistic scene. This is what makes painting enjoyable for me - trying to get more out of the artwork with a variety of strategies.
During the last painting session today the lighter areas began to take the lead. I made the sky brighter and insured that the glow travelled down into the background. Once more light and shadow variations were added to the grasses below, the entire painting fell into place. After a lot of patient trials, this forest came to life with color, atmosphere and in a somewhat abstract way.
I really like those original dark trees with their high contrast and the motion they give to this work.
Forward to Feb 2018:
After seeing the painting in the studio for a time, I decided that I wanted the oil to have more simplicity and a softer light. Trees were eliminated and the light is more subtle throughout the painting. Some of the colors were grayed down a bit and it actually enhanced the effect of the glow. It was a surprising outcome but it was just the effect I was looking for. Greys are very important at times!
As the painting progressed, a path began to form. It is nice to have it there, pointing the way to more good things to come.
The original dark trees in the upper left remain from that good start at the workshop that day and after removing unnecessary trees, the composition is simplified and has more sophistication.
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