Jan 22, 2015

#5 - Stone Lion

#5- Stone Lion, 6x6", Oil on MDF Panel  (SOLD)

This, my fifth small painting, is another subject that I figured I could handle with fast gestural brush work.   The subject is a stone lion face that is on the gate of Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.  It's carved from red sandstone, and is quite beautiful.

 But it's deceptive how working in mostly value pattern can turn into a dance between hitting the temperatures as well as the range of value.   What I thought would be a straightforward process quickly got complicated.

It didn't help that I chose cad red for my under painting.  I like red under paintings, but in this case, there was so much red in the colors of the stone face, that things got confusing - and wet.  Really wet.

Reluctantly, I had to step back with the piece incomplete because I needed it to dry before popping in the lights.   This is how I usually work my larger pieces., but the whole idea with these smaller ones was to get in; get out; and get it done.  

While I liked how this was turning out half way through, I needed to stick with the plan, and keep things much more spontaneous.

But, one thing with this small painting project that I am not ready to let go of is the desire that each finished study has "something" visually interesting.  I'm not interested in churning out vast numbers of little works just so I can put notches in my easel.  If these pieces are anything, they are a record of my interest in specific visual ideas, or my wish to understand on a deeper level an aspect of using various approaches to color.

It's early in this game for me.  But even after only five, I'm seeing the benefit of thinking this way about making art.

Next, I think I'll try another landscape.  This time, a nocturne.  And I think my challenge will be to include as much saturated color as possible in low light, which has a tendency to pull the intensity out of color.

Stay tuned.


  1. I'm loving reading about your process, Lynn! A big one I'm learning to juggle too is which colors work best for underpaintings (even when to not use an underpainting!), which colors to lay down first, and how to really strategically plan laying down color. I've started toning my panels with some raw umber a few days before working so I have a mid tone to work on that will not muddy up the painting. But then for some pieces, I like the way the color from the underpainting slightly shifts the colors!

  2. I am just about to try a few rubbed with a fairly neutral tone, possibly burnt umber, or warmer with burnt sienna. I have used a flat gray too. But for reasons I haven't figured out yet, red is usually one that is easy for me to put color over. It almost disappears as I lay color on it? To my eyes, at least. But with a reddish subject, not so much. I think under painting color is another cool experiment to consider.

  3. Really like this one. Like the way it goes to the edges. Frame vs. exuberance. The eyes are soulful.


I'd love to hear your comments!