The Witches’ Knickers picture is finished! For a few more finished images see this entry in my finished paintings: https://nancyfarmergallery.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/maiden-flight/ .
Here is more work-in-progress, carrying on from the photos where I had begun to paint the witches in a blue monochrome (Prussian blue watercolour or gouache – a dark but very transparent colour)
I’ve done several paintings entirely in a monochrome (light and dark shades of a single colour) of Prussian blue lately, but for this painting of course I had to have colour – the knickers MUST be in colour or the painting won’t really work as the idea I had. I also hadn’t decided what was happening with the background, but when I added the colour it became apparent that I needed the background to give it a bit more ‘weight’
This is the fun thing about not planning the painting all the way through: things happen that you hadn’t expected. Without the coloured knickers the blue was not really coloured, it was just what everything was painted in. Once I added colour on the knickers the blue suddenly became really blue, in a way I wasn’t very happy with. Also it all seemed a little wishy-washy. From a distance the painting wasn’t really coming together, though I was pleased with some of the actual details.
So I decided to knock the blue back a bit. To do this I wanted a wash to go over the blue that would take away colour, not add it – the exact opposite colour to the blue. A mixture of yellow and magenta, making a sort of reddish orange. Too much yellow and the wash would introduce green tones, too much magenta and it would introduce purple tones. Here is my colour, plus some experimental washes over the blue. I’ve used particularly transparent pigments – no cadmium colours for instance, which are quite opaque, this is instead a mixture of Indian yellow and Quinacridone Violet:
And so, with a little trepidation but firmly in the belief that I won’t be happy unless I try, I start adding very thin washes of the red colour over all that blue. Instantly I start to feel happier, and so, knocking back all that blue with a little red, and a few more flashes of knicker colours, and here is the painting finished:
And a couple of details below… but see https://nancyfarmergallery.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/maiden-flight/ for some more photos of the finished painting.