What I Learnt From My Last Painting - Inside The Studio

Inside the Studio this week, tackles the subject of the importance of planning a

painting. It seems that I am not immune from stumbles in this arena - even now

after many years of painting

It is interesting that I have just finished a series of posts about ugly paintings because this is what has been happening in the studio for the last three to four weeks. Well not that I wanted it to be but that's how it turned out.

After struggling through three repaints, and letting the work sit quietly in the corner for a while I took it out again this week for a further reassessment. I concluded that it was beyond salvaging and would not waste any further time on it apart from figuring out what had gone wrong.

So what did go wrong? I shared some of this in my posts on ugly paintings, however I wanted to take you through the whole process and my resolution of it.




So all was going well, everything drawn up and the application of paint was

progressing nicely, at first. However as I continued it became more and more apparent that the composition wasn't working.







OK Not working!






In the end I realized I would have to re think the drawing.













I did a thumbnail to figure out a better composition and then proceeded to do a redraw on the canvas.







This however. proved problematic to draw up in my preferred medium, which is

usually a pastel pencil, as that is easy to rub out. It wouldn't show up on top of the paint. So out came the charcoal and on it went.

Yes, I know, it looks like a confusing mess. That's because it is.

The next task was to just get some paint on so that I could see where I was going. I did this, however, things still didn’t look right. I decided the large petal on the right of

the painting would have to go. This was most annoying because it meant a

repaint in the sky and the ocean….. something I'd been avoiding.

Which meant accurately remixing the

colours that were already there. Thank heavens for my trusty paint swatch

book…….NOT!! Why not - because I had failed to record the sky colour accurately and so began a guessing game for several minutes, while I tried to recreate it.

As you can imagine, all of this took a tediously long time before I could get back

in the flow again. However, all’s well that ends well………




You can see that the image looks a lot better now I've dispatched that petal that was on the right. However there is still a long way to go. Most of the petals need reworking, the sea is still way too dark, I don't even have paint on everything yet and the bottom left hand corner needs to be resolved!

So, is it working yet - no!

I did some more work with the following result.


As you can see I've lightened the sea and sky and put paint on everything. Yet the colour is still over the place, there is no flow happening and there are only two small part of the work that I feel happy with.

So, is it working yet - NO!

So I am now asking my self if it is salvageable? And I believe the answer is no.. So I figure it is time to put it to bed. RIP ……

So what to do with it then, well one option is to cut it up into smaller paintings, frame them or stick them on gift cards. Sometimes there are smaller passages within the work, that work quite well on their own, so it is worth checking to see if there is anything salvageable. Or perhaps an abstract painting subject might be the phoenix arising out of its ashes!


This is what I came up with from my ugly painting. So as you can see, all is not lost!







I can see the makings of a new work here!










NEXT WEEK: What Is Your Why?

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© 2018 Kadira Jennings​