I’m not happy with this one — but, to my credit, I didn’t get frustrated and wipe it away. Instead I chalked it up to another learning experience, specifically one more lesson about the danger of creating a veritable mudslide with my oil paints.
I used a similar idea to my Autumn Gold painting, but I wanted to work with a completely different color palette. I also wanted to play around with a palette knife, something I haven’t done for a long, long time.
Since I have a lot of disappointing, all-but-ruined canvas panels sitting around my easel, I’m been picking them up, covering them with a thin coat of paint, and starting all over with them. It’s a comfortable way for me to work. I feel free to experiment since I’m not concerned about wasting a canvas panel. I suppose it’s never a waste to complete a painting, although sometimes when things just don’t turn out the way I’m hoping, that’s how I feel. Re-using a canvas gives me a “well, anything I do will be all right” feeling.
This one started off very promising. Originally the foliage on the trees was a rich red-violet hue with deeper shades of blue violet interspersed. But problems came when I tried to add highlights. Yes, too much medium — which with these paints means water. I ended up with a mess of mud, and despite efforts to correct the problem, I never could get back to the gorgeous colors I’d had at the start.
Hopefully, it will be lesson learned and with my next painting perhaps I’ll be more thoughtful, more cautious, more aware of what I’m doing as I paint yet one more woodland scene.
Although I was very disappointed with my muddy foliage, I was rather pleased with my foreground — usually my weakest area. I like the reds and blues I worked into the ground, and creating the sunlit pathway with the palette knife was lots of fun.
So, it was a good day, and a not-so-good day. At least I can look at this painting and know exactly what I did wrong and what I can do better next time. So, for my next time at the easel I’ll play around with another very similar woodland scene. I’ll use different colors. Maybe I’ll use evergreen trees instead of leafy trees. I’ll probably make a more winding path. And I’ll do my best to not make any more mud.