Better photographs today as for once I was able to take them by daylight. Usually they’re done after dark with lamps shoved in rather than set up properly.
Last night I spent an hour looking at the painting while preparing my schedule of work on it over the weekend. Occasionally as I work my way over the surface of a large panel such as this one, something that was fine two days ago suddenly makes me uneasy because of what has been subsequently painted elsewhere in the composition. Sometimes these knock-on effects can be quite catastrophic. (Anyone who thinks that a painting is so well planned that once the idea is in my head the execution is a shoe-in, would be surprised by how chaotic things can get.) So it came about that when I completed the foreground of the painting, the lake that had been fine up until then quite suddenly appeared weakened. I was loathe to start over because there were some lovely passages of ripples and a suggestion of depth and a wind-ruffled surface, but once the idea was in my head that it needed to be much darker so that it was closer to the colour of the sky, the problem simply had to be addressed. So today that was one of my tasks, and the result has lifted my spirits.
The dog too needed re-painting to make more of the brightness of his white fur. There had been too much turquoise shadow in it.
But the good news was that some of the additional detailing I’d planned for the landscape became unnecessary, and so my to-be-done-list was shorter than I’d expected. Both of Tobias’ shoes to be completed plus Raphael’s right hand, some woodland and a bridge to be done and a garden to be painted next to the basilica. I got most of that finished this afternoon.
I invariably use my own hands and feet as ‘models’ for paintings as they’re always available, either viewed directly or in a small mirror. In this painting a pair of Peter’s leather shoes shod Raphael and a pair of my own suede lace-ups (see image below) served for Tobias.
Luckily the day has gone well and although there is work yet to be done, tomorrow afternoon Peter shall be lighting and photographing the finished painting (no more of my often out-of-focus images taken in poor lighting conditions with a small digital camera) and an image of the entire composition plus the title of the work will be posted here on Sunday night. This I can promise.