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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Working in a Series

I'm not sure if 2 paintings counts as a series, but I've done a few 2-painting series recently. I've often heard the advice of working in a series in order to hone your ideas, techniques, or whatever it is that you're currently exploring as an artist.

Here's one series: it's 2 paintings of the same house on the same day. I almost always paint on a toned panel - a light wash of yellow ocher or red oxide. With these two paintings, I took that a little further and did a fairly detailed under painting in a rose red. When that was dry, I completed the over painting. I like the end result, but I'm not sure if the rose red underpainting had much advantage over starting with a toned panel. But doing these 2 in series was a good way of exploring a new technique. I might continue this series with a few more paintings of this house as it's a pretty interesting place. It's called "The 1860 House" and is the Montgomery Center for the Arts in Skillman, NJ:



Summer Porch
Summer Porch


Montgomery_Windows
Montgomery Windows



And another, which I did from a photograph - I found these 2 paintings in the same photo:
Woolverton Lawn Chairs
Woolverton Lawn Chairs

Adirondack Chairs
Adirondack Chairs


Even though these were very short series, I can see advantages of working this way. If done consecutively, you can develop a rhythm of work which allows you to concentrate more on the creative elements, finding variations in the repetitive. After working out the color scheme in "Summer Porch", it was easier to paint "Montgomery Windows, even though it's a larger more complicated painting. In "Adirondack Chairs", the chairs were painted nearly the same way as in the first painting, but I had a lot of fun with textures and brushwork in the background - in the grass and shrubs. Another advantage, of course, is ending up with a nice group of paintings.

I guess the next step would be for me to work on a larger series. And even though a series doesn't have to be of the same location, I like the idea of doing it that way. I know enough interesting places around here where this would work out well...

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