SOFTLY CALLING    January 2021 Work in Progress

The image is landscape, and I seem to require a horizon to ground me and help establish the above and below.


This painting started as a sketch in my mind’s eye of a sweep of pale over dark beneath, and a pathway towards the far off. The above soars and towers over the below.

A soluble graphite stick is used to sketch in the broad outline, palette knives to create the horizon, pathway and lines in the area below, diluted acrylic applied with a very broad brush to wash in the faint forms in the above. As the paint is applied, some of the graphite below starts to bleed and make interesting marks. Unpainted areas of the paper remain. I decided on a minimal colour palette of white, bone black, Payne’s grey and light blue to keep the focus on the forms. The ochre is there because I like ochre.

The first layer of paint is left to dry overnight, stretched out and pinned to a board to prevent rippling of the paper. The next day, I look at the image upright, then start in with the next layer of paint, responding to what is before me. There may be several layers of paint involved before I reach/sense a point when the paint is done, and I can now use dry mediums to emphasise, clarify, highlight.