|Creek Reflections (6x9) by M Francis McCarthy|
I'm fond of this older 6x9 painting. It was painted on a maple panel that I textured with gesso. I was freshly under the spell of Tonalism and this panting reflects that. It has been painted with thousands of tiny strokes and is very diffused. It took me awhile to develop my brushwork so that is is diffuse yet articulated.
|Creek Reflections (8x12) by M Francis McCarthy|
When seen reduced like this the newer "Creek Reflection" seems as diffuse as his smaller brother. Here's a detail.
Is it better? Just different really, both are nice paintings. I prefer the brushwork in the newer image though because it has character while still being somewhat diffuse.
Re the color shift between the two versions, that's more a function of my Tonalist re-expression of the theme.
I decided that for this painting that I wanted to eliminate blue from my pallet and used black as a blue substitute.
While this may seem odd to modern artistic intentions, artists prior to the late 1800's had scant access to blue pigments. It wasn't until the invention and marketing to artists of synthetic ultramarine blue that artists could really use blue as we do today.
Prior to this, natural blue pigments were very expensive and hard to grind. As a result many artists used black as a blue. It actually works well as lead white and ivory black make a cool grey.
I enjoy painting the same subjects more than once. I will usually investigate a new avenue rather than a direct copy. Copying a smaller piece up to a lager size can be rewarding but it's not as fun or artistic.
This touches on another topic though which I've been thinking of writing about. That is how we as artists perceive our work and ourselves in comparison to past work and accomplishments. A philosophical topic I'll get into tomorrow...