Updated: Jun 1, 2019
Fron the initial freehand painted drawing of the hen, I began to add my tentative marks in acrylic on gesso board prepared by myself.
The painting continued , adding and adjusting colour/values and paint marks to try and create form and 'life'.
I then hit a conundrum, what colour for the background. Initially I decided blue and a lighter tone (value) to the hen.
I wasn't happy, to me it was just a painting, a portrait without character,, or what I wanted 'to say'.
I left the painting for a few days to look at it a fresh. Well, I still wasn't happy. I carried on with the hen. I wanted to warm up the background so that the hen became an integral part of it's surrounding.
Ater a whole day's work I had overworked my painting. How could I overwork it? Well, the answer simply was I made the mistake of not deciding 'what I wanted to say' before I had begun.
Solution: don't be precious of your work. Go by a hint I was once given by the famous John Blockley when I went on a painting holiday (when I was around 20!). Hose it down! so, off to the sink I went and soaked it. A ghost image appeared............. so much happy as it made me realise that it was the hen's eye that attracted me to paint it.
I was able to continue with the painting to create the final painting with delicate nuance of value and paint marks.
Finally I finished the painting and I've learnt two lessons from it: Before you start the painting, decide what you want 'to say' and don't be precious of your work and be prepared to 'strip it back'.