Finish the Idea

” Del Monte Summer”
oil on stretched canvase, 16″ x 20″

Yesterday, I began a painting full of lots of stuff which needed to be knoodled before I could post the final version. So, today’s painting is knoodling yesterday’s . . . if that makes sense.

Of the things I was determined to practice in this piece was, of course, more edge management, keeping things fresh and suggested and, finally, use my palette knife in places . . . do some line drawing with it, define a few edges and create a teeensy bit of texture. Lastly, to focus on my brushwork . . .show some looseness and let the brush do the talking.

After watching Matt Smith, yesterday, and carefully observing what he did to load the knife, it was actally fairly easy. I gotta admit I would have stumbled around for years and never come up with a good clean stroke with it had I not seen how he did it. Nice!! It is pretty easy, however, to get carried away with it, so I practised on an old painting until I was sick of doing it and felt comfortable making the thing do its dance across the canvas.

The next thing was edges. I learned that edges aren’t necessarily **Blended** to appear blurry. That is what I thought a soft edge meant. Edges can be ragged . . .as in the edges of foliage. They can be extremely sharp as in a corner of a building where there isn’t a gradual slope into a darker value or edges can be transitions of value from dark, to medium to medium light to light as when a tree trunk rolls from the light into a darker, shadow side. So, internal edges matter, too . . . .from one color or value to another inside shape of a different color or value . . .and not necessarily blended from one to the other. See why I was having difficulty in really understanding what was happening? So, when you do understand, you are supposed to execute it . . . . .duh! 😉 That was another good thing to watch more than once and to get the real feel of doing it. It is going to take some more time, but I do feel much more comfortable with it than I did before.

The last thing was brushwork. I am almost giggling to myself as I write this! That feeling of a painting being so treasured that you don’t dare do anything to ‘spoil’ it has gone away. Today I felt free to ruin the canvas if necessary and to go for it. So, I did. I have more to learn in this respect, but I am sensing a new feeling coming over me and my trusty little hairy stick. More fun!!

15 thoughts on “Finish the Idea”

  1. Hey Mike,I see and hear real progress! OK, I’m going over to smartflix!

    I love the contrasts you achieved in this painting. The darks and lights have punch and the color is unified. I notice some nice caligraphic line work suggesting detail. Great painting!

  2. Thx Robin! I have much more work to do. As I grow, I can seen the next steps needed. So, I am already planning how to overcome the next challenge.

  3. Mike:

    I love your work and am also a fan of Matt Smith. I was just watching his video and was wondering what brand of blues, yellows and oranges does he use??? I would appreciate any input on this. Thanks.

    Ruth Ann
    Bethesda, Md.

  4. Mike:

    I love your work and am also a fan of Matt Smith. I was just watching his video and was wondering what brand of blues, yellows and oranges does he use??? I would appreciate any input on this. Thanks.

    Ruth Ann
    Bethesda, Md.

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