Have you ever put lots of time and layers into a painting and it just didn’t work out? And, to add to the frustration, you convinced yourself along the way that it was a good painting and that you like it? I call these paintings “problem children.” I do so with affection.
Recently, I experienced one of these challenging paintings and thought I would show you the evolution of an abstract painting into a wine painting.
The original abstract painting started out on a textured panel 24″ x 28″ x 1.5″ board. First I applied several colors, different textures and collaged a napkin (do you see the tulips?). There are probably 4-5 layers at this point.
During the beginning stages of my abstract paintings, I always turn the board around, trying to find where and when I might begin to connect with it. Below you can see it in a vertical orientation. I am liking the drama of it and the mysterious layers that give it depth. The bubble-looking shapes were created with rubbing alcohol.
As you can see in Step 3., a few more papers have been collaged, as well as the dripping of paint and circle shapes. I painted in the clouds to create a sense of drifting and more drama. My husband titled it “Carnival Dreams,” which I liked.
At this stage of the painting, I am trying to convince myself that I like it. Actually, I only like a few sections of the painting because it is way too busy. I began wishing I could cut it into a couple of paintings, but that isn’t possible with this panel board. A tad perplexed, I put it aside and moved onto the next painting. It needed to go into hiding for a while.
After a couple of months, I decided it was time to let “Carnival Dreams” go and to see if I could do something different with it other than sand it down to bare wood. I wondered if I could turn it into a wine painting. To do this, I applied strips of green Frog tape to my panel, and then applied light layers of white paint to imply Venetian-like blinds. I confess, emotionally it wasn’t easy to cover up all of my previous layers. .
When the tape was removed and this was the result.
I am liking this but wanted to continue to see how I could transform this abstract painting into one of my wine themed paintings. The edges were softened and more thin layers of paint were applied as seen in Step 6.
I still wasn’t sure about my goal, but decided to go for it and so I took on the wine painting challenge. In this next image you can see the charcoal drawing of the wine glass, bottle and a hand. I have also applied a little paint.
In Step 8., the forms of the subject have been painted in. I am wondering whether to keep the bottle vague because I want the wine glass to be the focus. Color wise, it was a challenge to not let this wine painting get muddy, so I had to be careful how I applied the purples over the oranges. As you know, purple and orange mix into a brown, which is fine but I didn’t want it too brown/burnt sienna. Learn more about mixing orange and purple in my post What is the Correct Definition of Tertiary Colors?
I do enjoy the problem solving of painting glass, because it’s not easy. It is all about using values – the lights and darks – in the correct places. The layers also need to dry in between before I applied the last white highlights. It is not quite finished in Step 8., because I want the glass to pop more.
Are you thirsty looking at this wine painting? Ready to have a glass?
You now have a unique view of the evolution of a wine painting or rather, a painting that was not totally satisfactory, and how I tried to resurrect it. This digital photo is not able to reveal the layers below, but you know they are there! Where might you have stopped during this process? Or would you have continued as I did?
I hope you enjoyed seeing the development of this wine painting and my problem solving along the way.
When have you experienced something similar? Have you documented it? Or perhaps you have a painting you might want to resurrect? Tell us what happened in the comments below.
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Grateful and colorfully yours,