Back at the Easel Again

For weeks now, I’ve been focusing on drawing, practicing with both graphite and ink. Meanwhile, I’ve had a painting languishing on my easel for months now. It’s that old bugaboo painting I started back… when? Quite some time ago, I know.

One disadvantage in improving my drawing skills is that once I start drawing, oil painting falls by the wayside. I seem to always be doing one or the other — drawing or painting — so right now, while my drawing is getting better, I’m losing some of the oil painting skills I’d previously developed.

Today, after my drawing time, I found myself with the urge to paint. It’s one of those rare days when I’m not trying to do a dozen different things. I don’t have any errands that I have to do, and it’s not time yet for fixing dinner.

So, I put my drawing pencils and pens aside, dug out my old paint clothes, and returned to my easel. I knew I wouldn’t be working on my bugaboo seascape. I definitely need a few painting sessions before I’ll feel confident enough to return to that painting. What I wanted to do today was just relax and explore imaginary landscapes.

To be honest, I actually started off with a different scene in mind, but as the painting developed, I threw out my initial idea and let the painting go where it wanted. I just sort of followed along to see where it might lead.

Here’s where we ended up.

Autumn in the Air
Autumn in the Air – 7 x 9 Oil on Canvas Panel

I’m calling it finished — for today.  I want to work more with the values in the foreground, and in case you’re wondering, that darker area at the upper right is going to be a fallen tree. It’s going to extend out into the water, and hopefully it will serve as an interesting focal point. I also want to work on the pathway that leads down to the water’s edge in the foreground.

I guess what you’d call this is a rough draft of the picture I have in my head. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished today, even though I started out with a different image in mind.

As I was painting, I found myself drawn in by the colors. I enjoyed playing with my paints, and picking up different brushes again. I’ve missed oil painting, and I have so many photographs from our berry-hunting expedition, our birding trip, and my recent nature walk. I think it might be time to go grab another canvas panel and get started on another scene before I put all those paints and brushes away.


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