Sunday, November 28, 2010

Synchronicity in distant dusty corners so very close to home

1960's era reproduction of the Portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
by Thomas Gainsborough.
Click on image to enlarge
Yesterday, I stood before this very painting at the Cincinnati Art Museum. As I had posted recently, this portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (Elizabeth Linley) was my favourite non Pre-Raphaelite painting of all time. While it was great to get the exhibition catalogue with a lovely reproduction of the painting on one of its pages what I really wanted was something I could hang on my studio wall. Also, I had been planning to go over to Patti Fairbanks' Antique Shop where I live in Paris, Kentucky to do a little Christmas shopping but since I was working on a painting today, I thought I might not go after all. As I worked, I just kept getting the feeling I should go to Fairbanks Antiques anyway so I took a break to let the sunlight work its way over to the studio and hopped in the car and set out for the antique shop. While there, I'd do the originally intended Christmas shopping.

Fairbanks Antiques is in a vastly expanded and better organised location that at one time had been a downtown Paris hardware store that Patti filled with everything from her previous separate locations. Patti and her sister Lee did a fantastic job organising all the books and more. I found a couple of gifts, so I decided I was going through every nook and cranny making two circuits of the shop. Hung on the wall in a crowded corner near the front of the store was the portrait of Mrs. Sheridan in a perfect size and in a frame that fits well with the studio. I can only imagine how wide my eyes must have been when I gently lifted the picture off its hook. Dusty but in good shape. I thought I should be taking the money for this and buying someone else a gift, but at the same time I was afraid I would never see this vintage reproduction ever again so I bought it along with the stocking stuffers I found for Valerie. As I had written before, various photocopies of this painting had been tacked on studio walls for years.

Yesterday, I felt sad that I couldn't come back and visit the original painting as often as I wanted because it wasn't part of the Cincinnati Art Museum permanent collection. The original painting has a very strong presence as though something of the soul of the subject resided in the painting. That's a quality I want my paintings to have and because I knew I would likely never see this painting again went back upstairs one more time with Valerie while a friend who travelled with us was perusing the gift shop to say goodbye to dear Mrs. Sheridan. Mrs. Sheridan looked a little sad too.

Is it just my deepening into middle age or are synchronicities on the increase? I've experienced some wonderful synchronicities in the last few years of which today's would both be minor and somewhat profound. Minor because (it's a probably 1960's) reproduction of a 1780's painting but profound because its a vintage reproduction of a painting that I literally stood in front of only 24 hours before. A painting that normally resides at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. A painting that I would gaze at in my copy of The World of Gainsborough and dreamed of seeing for real. What's next? Standing in front of John William Waterhouse's 1888 version of The Lady of Shalott? Sir Frank Dicksee's 1903 La Belle Dame Sans Merci ? I already have lovely prints of those paintings on my wall so if there is to be a synchronicity involving those works, it will have to come about another way....Something wonderful I hope....

One painting finished, another started

I have to admit a lot of the time spent when the weather was warm was spent on working on my 1968 Plymouth Fury VIP. But that didn't mean I had stopped painting altogether. I finished a three quarter length portrait of Charlotte Harwell and have started another painting based on a photograph of Valerie I took recently.

The painting below is a birthday portrait of Charlotte Harwell. I have written elsewhere about her personal significance to me as an artist so I won't repeat all of that here. What is different in this painting is that it was completed in three working days, but if you broke it down into actual hours perhaps less than twenty four from start to finish. While Charlotte has been a decades long inspiration to me, I think that what is happening is that my style is undergoing some changes that are becoming more manifest in the last year or so. It has been commented to me that my style while continuing in the Victorian/English Pre-Raphaelite/romantic influence has begun to pare down somewhat.

Portrait of Charlotte Anne Harwell, 2010, acrylic and coloured pencil on cold press watercolour paper, 22x30 inches. Collection of the artist.
 By paring down, I mean I seem to be getting more to the core of the subject and less on large amounts of detail that slow down the actual act of painting. Last year's portrait of Charlotte also went very quickly though that painting would certainly seem to have more overall detail. In some respects I may still be too close to what I'm doing to properly get across what I think is happening. Whatever it is, I hope it results in better paintings.

Portrait of Charlotte Anne Harwell, detail

Below is a painting I pencilled out about three weeks ago but have only just started putting down the coloured pencil under painting today. Again, reduced to core elements. This doesn't yet look as much like Valerie as I originally intended but while taking pictures of her in a wonderful sort of Goth/Medieval/Pre-Raphaelite batwing sleeve dress with a lace overlay Valerie assumed the pose that led to this painting. I eliminated the other background elements and objects that would have otherwise distracted from the lady and the gramophone.
Untitled, acrylic and coloured pencil, 22x28 inches
Like pretty much everything I do on watercolour paper, I like to combine the coloured pencil and the glazes of paint together keeping the virtues of both. As the painting progresses, I'll post work in progress photos. In between these posts, I may also have additional postings on the Lost and Beautiful Past Facebook page which is accessed from the lower front page of the website. Next to my link to return to my main website there is now a link to the Facebook page. If it seems too quiet here, check there. I sometimes post painting in progress photos there.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A painting I wish I had painted

Portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

Thanks to trips to the Cincinnati Art Museum in the late 1970's and a book called The World of Thomas Gainsborough, I became a fan of that artist's work done mostly in the 1780's. I adored an enormous portrait of Mrs. Philip Thicknesse (Ann Ford) at the Cincinnati Art Museum, but if there was a particular painting I was hopelessly in love with as an artist, it was Gainsborough's portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Her actual name was Elizabeth Linley and she was an old friend of the artist, a celebrated beauty and the wife of the noted comic playwright.

I had a photocopy of this painting in my studio for years. When colour photocopiers became available, I re-photocopied it and even now she gazes out into the studio. Last Saturday, I took my mother and Valerie to the Cincinnati Art Museum to see an exhibit called Gainsborough and the Modern Woman. I knew the Cincinnati painting would be there but imagine my surprise and joy to turn a corner and find the portrait of Elizabeth Linley (Mrs. Sheridan) in all of her glory. It was less seeing a painting for the first time than it was a surprise encounter with a dear old friend.

At the time we entered the gallery there was a presentation about the exhibit given by the curator and he was rather avidly expressing his joy in the pioneering of modern art he saw in this painting. I don't really see hints of Jackson Pollack in the upper left of the painting. We had to wait about for the lecture crowd to move on in order to get a good look at the portrait. The last time seeing a painting in person made me want to tear up was the first time I saw a gallery full of Pre-Raphaelite paintings in Indianapolis in 1993.

Enough about all that. I very deeply wish I had painted this picture.

As you can see in the rather pale illustration above, Mrs. Sheridan is seated on a large rock at the edge of he woods. What I really enjoy about this painting is that her attire is so much more relaxed, as is her pose. Her hair is loose and flowing and the shapes of the trees seem to echo the flow of her hair. I am rather fond of painting loose flowing hair myself. She is infinitely more human and knowable.

In contrast to the sharp focus Pre-Raphaelite paintings I love so much, everything in this painting is less than distinct except for the most important part: her face. When I paint a face, this is what I aspire towards. She is nothing less than alive inside the illusion of 3 dimensional space placed on a canvas. In my opinion, if this painting were on your wall you would never be truly alone. That is how beautifully painted this portrait is. This is how much of this individual woman's spirit lives in this image. I've read that Gainsborough and Mrs. Sheridan were old friends. There is no doubt in my mind that he truly loved her. The form that love took doesn't really matter, only that he loved her. Everything about this painting is designed to guide the viewer directly to her face. None of the other details are as important as her face. What I find particularly interesting is that in the original portrait, she appears to be looking directly at the viewer. I'm sure the angle at which it is hung has something to do with it. This quality does not quite come off in reproductions from books or Google images. Still, even in the reproductions there is something there...

Close up of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan by Thomas Gainsborough. click on image to enlarge, then click again to see the full size image.

Maybe it's just me, but it seemed that other museum visitors seemed more drawn to her than to some of the other paintings there. Not that they were not also spectacular and wonderful in their own ways. I still love the Mrs. Phillip Thicknesse painting, but there is something indescribably magical about the Sheridan portrait. It's almost as though she could reach out, take your hand and pull you into the past with her. For me, imagery that powerful is what good art is all about. I try to do this myself over and over, and I have had only one or two paintings that remotely got in the distant neighbourhood of that goal. So I keep trying.

The Gainsborough exhibit started on Saturday the 18th of September and will run through the rest of autumn at least. If you live in any reasonable driving distance of Cincinnati, this is an exhibit worth seeing. For me, it would have been worth it for just the one painting but there is a whole gallery of delight to be found there. Oh, the rest of the museum is pretty special too. Soon, I hope to write a little something about some of my favourite pieces in the Cincinnati Art Wing  especially The Venetian Lace Makers by Robert F. Blum.  The Cincinnati Art Museum is one of my favourite art places in the region. I go there to see how it's really done. My painting instructor at Berea College, a gentleman by the name of Lester Pross was always after me to go down to the art library and look at photos of paintings reproduced in the books of the time to learn from them. Frankly, I'd much rather go look at the actual paintings. I'm sure he would too.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The long inadvertant silence ended

I was a little shocked when I saw how much time had gone by since my last post.  After my last collage was finished, I thought I'd take a little time to revive my late grandfather's 1968 Plymouth Fury VIP and Valerie and I would build an upstairs room in the attic during my vacation from the day job. Reviving the Fury went comparatively fast, home remodelling longer than anticipated. Below is a picture of the Fury and then on to the new collages I recently completed with some notes about the most recent Paris Artwalk.
 click on image to enlarge

Material left over from the last collage, From Her Voice Came The Music of the Centuries inspired two more collages to make a triptych of sorts. The original image is below followed by the two new pieces.
From Her Voice Came The Music of the Centuries, collage, 11x14 inches
 click on image to enlarge

My Longing Came In Music Soaked Memories, collage, 11x14 
Click on image to enlarge

I Know Now Who I Once Was
collage, 11x14 inches
Click on image to enlarge.

While I like viewers of my paintings and collages to come up with their own stories when they look at my work, I have my own stories in my mind as I make them. With the set of collages above, I sort of imagined a kind of Wilkie Collins meets steampunk tale in which a Victorian woman using some sort of tinfoil phonograph recorder reaches deep into the past and revives long dormant memories and longing.

It Was Then I Realised I Was Too Late, collage, 11x14 inches, Click on image to enlarge
In this image, a young man stumbles upon a scene in which one man seems to be channelling energy to another through some device he wears on his head as a woman stands transfixed in contemplation. I have no idea what this is about. Possibly the man wearing the device is a mad scientist and he is controlling both the woman and the other man. Or perhaps, the woman is in collusion with the device wearer. Or something else altogether different.

From Her My Thoughts Could Not Turn Away, collage, 11x14 inches, Click to enlarge image

The final collage in this entry was sold at the Paris Artwalk last Friday. I was just barely able to get this collage photographed as I had literally just finished it that morning and had not expected to sell it at the end of the day. The composition is as much accident as choice. The man's face had been partially cut off in the enlargement process but it also is what inspired the composition altogether. While listening to an cylinder phonograph, a late Victorian gentleman recalls the one love he could not forget.

There will not be a separate post on the Paris Artwalk as I usually do because for some reason I did not take my usual photographs of the set up and the visitors. But, having said that, it was still a most excellent Artwalk even though I was a bit off the beaten path. I'm now showing at the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library where I used to work. The set up was in the courtyard outside and even though it was terribly hot that day, still had a good time. Valerie wafted bubbles down High Street and her daughter made a small sandwich board out of one of my promotional posters and waded through the crowds on Main Street where most of the Artwalk took place. We were one block over with a few other participants. I spun gramophone records and while I did not have as many people as I normally saw, I got more people actually interested in the art resulting in the sale of the collage. Valerie had made some experimental steampunk necklaces that incorporated miniature copies of some of the collages. Of the ten she made, she sold four. 

I find it interesting that when I got a little off the beaten path, I broke my Artwalk sales drought. Everyone at the Paris-Bourbon County library was just great and I thank all of you for hosting a former co-worker. Look forward to being there in April!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

From Her Voice Came The Music of the Centuries

 From Her Voice Came The Music of the Centuries
collage, 11x14 inches
Click on image to enlarge

This is my latest collage from the Penny Dreadful series. In this one, a Victorian lady is singing into a very early cylinder phonograph that is powered by weights/counterweights located under the table while a mummy listens with rapt attention. Though it is hard to tell in the photograph, the sky is painted in iridescent white and some of the white is mixed with the gold in the mummy. When the light hits both the sky and the mummy just right, they glow.

In the detail above, one can easily see the transparent glazes painted over the image. I don't like to obscure the engraver's lines if I can help it. As I look at this, it seems to me that the detail image is a composition in its own right which I may explore in the near future. Regrettably, I've forgotten the make and model of this particular phonograph but it is an actual recording/playback device from the 19th Century.

The mummy was just too good not to use in something. I particularly enjoyed the rather rapt expression on his face. I painted him with a mixture of transparent yellow, renaissance gold and a bit of iridescent white to give him that supernatural quality. He appears to be listening deeply to something and I couldn't resist combining the mummy with the phonograph lady. I'm also endlessly fascinated by thin the veil between the Past and the Present can possibly be.

As I look at both of the detail images, I'm thinking of actually turning this into a triptych and find a way to frame all three images together. I'd love to know your thoughts about this. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Threshold of the Soul and other works

The Threshold of the Soul, 2010, acrylic and coloured pencil on D'Arches 140 lb. hot press watercolour paper, 22x28 inches.
Click on any image to enlarge.

For this blog, I have one new painting and two collages. The painting, The Threshold of the Soul, has been a long time coming. I started this painting in the autumn of 2007 not long after setting up my studio in Paris,  KY. It went through a long gestation period after I initially pencilled out the figure. The background went through massive changes from what had been originally drawn in my sketchbook and transferred to the larger watercolour paper sheet. It is also my first painting of a friend of mine who I regard with considerable respect and the utmost esteem. She is a writer and a person who has given much thought to the journey of Life and where she is on that journey. Without her, I don't think I would have done this particular painting quite this way. 

She stands at a portal between light and dark. It is not a literal landscape where I have clearly violated the rules about how light and dark are supposed to interact with each other but instead it is a landscape of the soul. The figure who stands at this portal is deciding whether she wants to spend a life in the light/happiness or a life in the dark/melancholy. She is more present in the light because that is where she wants to be, yet she knows she cannot fully enjoy the light before her without the dark behind her.

And So I Was Summoned From The Etheric Void, 2010, collage, 11x14 inches.

Sometimes the title comes to mind before the actual image does, and in this case, the collage is a rethinking of an earlier idea that failed in terms of composition which as it turned out was a blessing in disguise. I am fascinated by 19th Century fiction especially if it is Gothic with its attendant mysteries and overall spookiness. I also like the images to suggest stories in the viewer's mind that may have both occurred to me and not occurred to me. Is the man whose face floats overhead a ghost or is he someone who has crossed a quantum/inter dimensional void? Who is the man with the floating hat and number pinned to his chest? What are his powers and what does he use them for? What of the lady standing next to him? Does she fear the man being summoned? Or does she fear the summoner? That is for you to decide.....

I Have Loved You For So Very Long, 2010, collage, 11x14 inches

For this collage, I have a great weakness for stories involving the theme of Love Across Time. The clues here are the colours of the men's clothes and the colour of the woman's hair and her dresses. Each romance takes place within the shadow of the Gothic tower in the background as a man strides happily towards his lady love who awaits him at the outer door. In the foreground are all the past times this couple have loved each other.

Coming next: I am working on a collage set near the Sphinx and the Pyramids as an unwrapped mummy listens in utter rapture to a Victorian lady speaking or perhaps singing into a very early phonograph recording her voice onto a wax cylinder. My brother saw this one in progress and liked it very much. I may do a second possibly somewhat larger version for him.

Painting in Progress-conclusion

Click on any image to enlarge
With this installment we end where we began, the model's face because I want every element of the composition to pull the viewer back to her face because without her, this becomes a rather odd landscape instead of what it actually is, a meditation on whether to live a life of light or of dark or to put another way, a life of happiness or melancholy perhaps a blending of both.

In the close up above, I had started out with using coloured pencil as an underpainting and then going over it with a thin mix of acrylic. In the previous blog, I was not happy with the way that looked so I went over the paint with a new layer of coloured pencil and used the pencil to blend areas as well as to lightly indicate shadowed areas. The lower lip was partially painted out and corrected. The eyelashes were also done with coloured pencil along with loose strands of hair drawn over the painted areas. The combination of the pencil and the paint bring the face up to the same level as the rest of the painting. The pencil alone was too thin to give her the same weight as the rest of the composition.
 Other touches include foliage at the lower left of the painting and the finishing of the pathway to the colonnade in the daylight portion at the top. Some additional texturing was included in the wall and column. At some point in the near future, I will probably pull this painting out of the frame and work on the ivy a good bit more as I am not totally satisfied with it but at some point have to stop working on the painting I started two and a half years ago. Below is the(for the moment) finished painting:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pre-Raphaelite Paintings at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville

 click on the images below to enlarge

Last Saturday, Valerie and I had the humbling experience of travelling to Nashville to see some Pre-Raphaelite paintings that were part of a travelling exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. I won't try to cover all of the paintings we saw there but needless to say it was more than worth the drive. Information on the exhibit is at the link below.

It was Valerie's first viewing of a Rossetti and our first museum trip together so it was quite a significant event for us. The painting above is one of Rossetti's later works where he mostly focused on images of solitary women painted in very lush surroundings. This painting is called Dis Manibus, or Roman Widow. The model for this painting is Alexa Wilding and was one of Rossetti's favourite models towards the end of his life.

The painting above is by William Holman Hunt and is called Miss Gladys M. Holman Hunt (The School of Nature). Miss Holman Hunt was 16 at the time of the original sitting and when the model's face was retouched later by the equally incredible Pre-Raphaelite artist, Arthur Hughes, he aged her face a few years. I may edit this post later as I find out more about this. This painting is an example of how Holman Hunt followed the early Pre-Raphaelite painting principles throughout his life, the fidelity to nature, the bright colours even I can see, and yet, as Valerie pointed out to me, as realistic as the dog is painted, a close up examination reveals the animal is painted in a technique very closely resembling pointillism. It would be interesting to find out if the trends of late 19th Century art had any effect on this early to mid Victorian artist.

We also saw three of Sir Edward Burne-Jones Briar Rose series paintings displayed together. There was a bench situated in front of them. We needed it. Seeing them together was an emotional experience that at the moment defies my ability to describe it. This painting is called The Sleeping Beauty.

Why was it a humbling experience? For the last thirty years, these are some of the artists I've looked to in finding my own way as a painter. No amount of looking in books can prepare you for seeing the real thing. What strides I've made in my own work seem to pale in the reality of those who came before me. You can also see the benefits of a 19th Century English Royal Academy training in giving one the tools to paint what the heart's eyes see. Yet there are things that connect us in mundane ways. Years ago, I was looking at a watercolour by Rossetti and discovered he was using exactly the same D'Arches hot press watercolour paper I was using. The same paper that had been made literally since 1492.

There have been times after viewing such work, that I wonder why I continue to paint my strange little pictures and not paint for a few days, but then I don't give up easily. I may never reach the same skill level possessed by these artists of another time, but we do share a love of painting a beautiful romantic world that may have never existed except perhaps in the quantum reality of art.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Painting in Progress Part III

In this part, I am starting to pull things together. Additional ivy has been added near the base of the column and the decorative element below. I don't consider it complete yet, I may add more leaves and try to build up the density of growth at the lower left. For this round, I've added lighter colour leaves over some of the darker background leaves. I also worked in the some of the darker green into the stone behind the leaves. Click on any image to enlarge.

In the picture above, you can also see the additional glazes of vermilion red, permanent alizarin crimson in the lower skirt. Some of the red and crimson is mixed together. The lighter part of the skirt is drybrushed. The idea is the lighter colour is a different texture than the horizontal darker fabric near the bottom of the skirt.

In the picture below, you can see where I have started to glaze a mix of raw sienna and yellow ochre into the model's hair. The hue deepens with addition of the glaze. The strands of hair drawn in coloured pencil is still visible through the glaze. The work I had done on the skirt has also been done to the tunic. The shadows are a bit exaggerated so I don't lose them as I build up the rest of the colour. At this point, I've done nothing yet to the skin tones on the face or hands other than what was originally put down in coloured pencil.
The picture below is a close up showing the glazes in the hair and the original coloured pencil rendering of the face. I like it, except that now that everything else has been built up to a certain level leaving an area only in coloured pencil seems weak compared to the rest of the painting. I'm now treating the original pencil work as an underpainting to the acrylic that will be applied over it.

In the final picture for this segment is the model's face with the first bit of paint over the coloured pencil. At this stage, I'm not happy with it at all. This is where my colour blindness rears its exasperating head. The initial mix is titanium white, yellow ochre, burnt sienna with the tiniest amount of cadmium red. Cadmium has extremely strong tinting powers. Even the tiniest amount I had used was probably still too much.

As I work more on the face, the goal is to first get the colour mix under control with the idea of getting it as close as possible to the model's actual skin tones. The coloured pencil actually did that quite nicely. The more challenging problem is to do that with the paint because when I am finished I want to be sure that the viewer is drawn towards the model's face. At the time of this writing, I have not yet attempted to work another layer of colour pencil over the paint. If I like the results of that, I'll use the pencil to smooth and blend the face. If not, I will continue adjusting the mix until I get it right. In order to achieve that, I will test out the mixes on a separate piece of watercolour paper and hold them next to the face to avoid the risk of overworking.

The next entry will focus entirely on her face.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Painting in Progress Part II

Well, this has taken longer to get to than I imagined. Have to stop working on the painting long enough to write about it. I mentioned in the previous blog entry that I used isopropyl alcohol to blend my coloured pencil pigment. In the picture below you can see the two main items I used to do the blending. An old towel and the alcohol itself.

Note that all of the easel images have some parallex error because I hand held the camera and the easel itsel is not quite level. Click on any image to enlarge.

In the next image, you can see that I have wrapped the towel around the end of my finger and then soaked it in alcohol. I begin by rubbing the towel into the pencilled area. You can see the difference between the blended area and the non blended area by the softness of the colour and the pencil strokes.
For finer blending work, I recycle old colourless blender markers by dipping them in the same alcohol. I also will pour some alcohol into a small cup and let multiple old blender soak up the alcohol while I'm using another one. For future use, I'll also pour a tiny amount of alcohol into the caps before snapping them in place.

The old colourless blenders are ideal for blending colour in tight places, in this case the area around the model's hand.

After working the colourless blender into the wall, I go back and add some additional layers of coloured pencil using a Derwent watercolour pencil which is well suited to blending techniques.

Once I've added enough of the coloured pencil to build up the texture I'm going after with the wall I then add a glaze of yellow ochre over it. If I keep it thin, it will still allow the pencil strokes to show underneath. Too much of the hue will make it opaque. In some areas this is actually desirable, but not here. Because I may possibly add other layers of pencil over the glaze, I use water instead of glazing medium to thin the yellow ochre down.

It's helpful to me to not get too fixated on any one area so I shift from working on the wall to working on the background. The background is a mix of the coloured pencil with acrylic. I probably should have mentioned this earlier but I had actually messed up the alignment of the blocks and painted the wall entirely and started over.

Continuing with other parts of the background, I begin roughing in colour and detail on the stone floor behind the figure. I'm using a mixture of indigo blue coloured pencil along with the yellow ochre and golden brown watercolour pencil. This gets a little terra cotta pencil added to it and then a thin glaze of transparent burnt sienna.

You can see here by the time I had taken this photo, I had developed the column and the wall a good bit more. You can also see a decision I had made about the background over the figure's shoulder. This area was done with indigo blue coloured pencil with washes of ultramarine blue mixed with burnt umber. I spatter what I intend to be stars to represent night. After looking at it awhile, I decide I don't really like it. So I paint it out and start over.

Before I had experimented with the star background, my original thought was to extend the colonnade in the daytime background into the night time background. I rough this in with a white coloured pencil and use a very thin iridescent white for the clouds and the moon. The trees are a pthalo green blue shade with some white highlights. I draw the mortar of the brick with a white coloured pencil and then fill with burnt sienna.

The wall gets new attention in the form of ivy painted with a dark hooker's green. In this view, you can see where the painting is heading. The hardest decision I now have to make is what colour the figure's dress should be. I will work out the final details on the dress and then decide the colour. For colour blind people, colour decisions can sometimes be excruciating.

The next installment will get into working more on the figure herself and seeing how the colour choice I make for her attire pulls everything together and puts the focus where it needs to be on the central figure's face.