Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Waiting for treats

Sometimes - very occasionally - a painting appears from the end of the brush that I am pleased with. This is one. It took very little time, yet it also took months depending how you look at it: I had tried 3 times to paint this beautiful collie and each time it was a wiper, until - with a little help from Van Gogh and the National Gallery - I had an epiphany.
The National Gallery has had an exhibition (now closed, sadly) of two of Van Gogh's famous sunflower paintings. Here is a photo of them from the BBC website:
I was reading up on these and learnt that one of the reasons they were so revolutionary, is that Van Gogh "broke all the rules" and placed the flowers on a background of the same colours as the subject (the received wisdom - now as then - is that the background "should" contrast or complement). And I realised where I had been going wrong with my attempts at complementary backgrounds. So I painted the collie on a muted version of the colours in his own coat. I like it. 

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