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Works in Progress

At first, things seem to be going quickly, slapping paint on with big brushes and roughing things up a bit to get rid of that intimidating blank white canvas, but really it’s a slow process. The marks of paint are built up in layers, they take time to dry, you have to be patient.


Get the drawing right from the beginning. How do things really look? Study the shapes. Look for the shapes of the spaces between the shapes. Hold the pencil at arms length, peering through one eye, it's a measuring stick, check the proportions, the composition.

Return next morning, it's a bit of a hike to the location across the wet grass. Set up the easel in the same place as yesterday, if the drawing is accurate it should be easy to find the exact spot, to the inch.

Mix the paints thoughtfully. The appearance of a colour depends entirely upon what you put it next to. It's all relative.

Sometimes things go well, ideas flow. At other times it's a struggle, there is a block, ideas have to be winkled out. What is wrong with it? Why doesn't it work? Don't be discouraged. Never give up! Keep at it! Rough it up a bit more, rub something out, scrape some paint off, have a go at it with some sandpaper, correct the mistakes. People like to see evidence of the struggle. It's interesting to see the working out.

You return to the subject time and again. Progress seems to slow down. It's all in the detail. Using smaller brushes now, you work all day but little seems to change.

Then one day you are looking at the picture and you can't think of anything else to do to it. That's when you know it's finished.

Oh!... wait a minute, just thought of something.


> Scenes


"Rough it up a bit more, scrape some paint off. People like to see evidence of the struggle."
Andrew Wood


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