Let me begin by saying, yes, I painted this, but, no, it doesn’t really look like this. What you’re seeing is a disastrous oil painting made better by the use of a photo filter. I can only wish I’d painted something this lovely.
Oh, I’ll admit, the trees are odd-looking. I think each one is a little different because I was already frustrated with the painting, so I was determined to try different brushes and techniques to create those evergreens. I think maybe I like the one on the left the best.
Maybe you’re wondering what went wrong with the actual painting and why I’m not showing it. In a word, what went wrong was everything.
My intention was to paint a winter scene, so I began by creating a gray sky. I used Prussian blue, burnt sienna, and titanium white, and I was very pleased with the result. I was careful to mix exactly the color I wanted, and I then used titanium white alone to create clouds. I painted in a few shadows by adding a touch more blue to the gray mix. My sky looked fabulous. I was off to a promising start.
It all came to a crashing halt when I painted in the distant mountain range. I’ve given up using graphite, charcoal, or ink to sketch the outlines of a painting. Instead, I’m using a thin mix of oil paint. Although I studied the scene for a moment, I still ended up painting the mountain peaks in the wrong place. It conflicted with my sky. Oh, well. Move on, I told myself.
By the way, I was using a stretched canvas instead of the canvas panels I’ve grown so comfortable with. I guess I was also wanting to stretch my art skills a bit. Working on the stretched canvas feels much different to me. I struggled.
My mountains were a mess. The distant range is so close in color to the sky that the peaks are actually difficult to distinguish. Then, when I added in the nearer range, I made the same mistake I’ve made countless times before. I simply couldn’t get the right color. By the time I had finished scraping and re-doing that section several times, I ended up with a horrid color that is best left undescribed.
Then, my husband texted me his “HH” message. Headed home. Hey, he’s got an old flip phone. Texting is hard. He uses shortcuts. I nearly panicked. It was only noon. He’d said he would be working until 1:30. I thought I had at least another hour for painting. There I was, covered with paint, dinner not ready, and laundry to fold!
Fortunately, I remembered the last time he’d texted “HH”. That alone means “Hi, honey.” It’s only when he texts “HHHH” — “Hi, honey, headed home” — that he’s really on the way. I did call him to be sure.
Relieved to have a little more time, I turned again to the easel, and I truly hated what I saw. Torn between wiping everything off and beginning again or just finishing something, I opted for finishing. I decided to practice those trees, maybe play around a bit and see if I could come up with any possible way to fix all that was wrong.
In the end, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth fixing. I did my best, chalked the whole thing up to another learning experience, and then — as I always do — I took a photograph of the painting.
Yes, it was a sorry-looking sight…until I noticed the photo filters. I scrolled through, and when I saw the painting converted to black and white, I smiled. I liked it. So, I added the filter, placed a frame around it, and uploaded it to share here on the blog.
Colors are tricky. I love them, but sometimes they turn out all wrong for me. It’s hard, though, to go wrong with black and white. The painting is still far from perfect, but it’s a lot better this way than it was before.