We spent the last weekend camping up at Mambray Creek. It’s the first time I’ve been camping in a long while, and it was such a lovely place. The wildlife was a highlight.
Although I took my paints with me, I forgot to bring my usual brushes! That caused a bit of panic, but I found that I had a Chinese calligraphy brush on me. I usually only use the calligraphy brushes with black ink, so I decided to make the best of matters and create a painting in greyscale.
When I finished the above painting I realised that I’d probably done myself a favour by forgetting the other brushes. Working in just black ink meant that I didn’t need to juggle the complexities of colour. I was able to work things up in tones, and if I got something in the wrong spot I was able to water it down or build up the things around it in order to make up for the mistake. That would be much harder to correct if I put the wrong colour down!
My suspicions were confirmed when I made an attempt at painting a vista scene over the hills using my watercolours. I ran into problems of managing colour, depth of field, and the problem of picking subject matter that didn’t have well defined forms. I abandoned that painting after not too long.
On Sunday I felt a desire to draw rocks.
At first I started this painting with a view straight into a wall of rock, and not long in I was going a little crazy. John however pointed out this view, just facing a little further up the track from where I was seated, which made for a much easier composition. With the shape of the left tree and the negative space around the rock edges it made it much easier to work out what I was looking at when I looked up and down between my painting and the reference.
Overall, a fun weekend with some nice art to boot. And I might even be convinced to go out and walk and enjoy the great outdoors more often now that I have some confidence that I can get some worthwhile paintings done.