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Blue Dreaming - Sketch

abstract landscape artwork

My latest work on paper began with a cool colour palette, which I eventually added to with a few warmer colours. This was an interesting sketch as I found several learnings to take away from it.

I worked on this one upside down for a while, thinking that's how it wanted to orientate itself, but as usual, there are no rules so I turned it the other way up and felt much happier about how the composition was sitting!

I felt quite committed to the blue-green-yellow colour palette to begin with but my need to balance that with some warmth won over - though I was quite indecisive about whether I should use pink or orange to do the job.

This piece ended up being very much about the larger shapes and practicing recognising them and ways to bring them together. I found I was enjoying the simplicity of the bold shapes so I didn't over fuss the details too much.

I've been wondering for a while how I might feel about pulling back on the details and working with a more simple series of shapes; I guess this one was a foray into that idea.

For me the result feels a little less 'finished' but perhaps that's more about the mindset than the actual painting.

But I've taken away three lessons from this one:

  1. I created too strong an emphasis with the striped line running across the composition too early, and I felt like that dominated my thinking too strongly for a while. The lesson here is to keep things loose and free form for as long as I can before committing to final shapes in the design.

  2. Be prepared to let go of parts of my process that are usually non-negotiable - i.e lots and lots of details, in pursuit of getting a feel for a slightly different visual aesthetic.

  3. Don't be afraid to plan a colour palette before starting out. I think this was perhaps the most important one and a lesson I've already put into practice with the new series of paintings I'm now working on. Having a fairly complete idea about my colours from the beginning means I can use less paint and preserve much of the visual texture in the underlying collage through the use of glazes, rather than having to use thicker paint to cover up areas I'm not happy with.

I never stop learning and absorbing information during my studio time. And that's the joy of working on paper alongside my paintings on panels; I get to do much of my experimentation in a smaller format with less pressure and expectation to create something gallery-wall worthy!

Abstract landscape artwork in blue and green
Blue Dreaming


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