I’ve just finished an oil painting that I’m aiming to hang at the Surrey Contemporary Art Fair.
I’ve had the reference pictures since my trip to Leeds last year, and I chose one that isn’t specifically linked to the subject’s hobby but I loved the curled up pose and I loved how her hair was tumbling out.
I decided to make a pencil sketch of the pose, and it seemed to take on a life of its own, as I drew and almost zoned out of what I was doing the patterns and tone took on a life of their own.
I wasn’t sure what colours to use until I found an old board where I’d tried out some blues together just as a little tester. It always pays to play!
As I painted the blues, teals, greens and purples, I found I wasn’t happy with the intensity of the ultramarine, and following an online search where I discounted lapis lazuli on cost grounds, I had a root around in my paint box and found some cobalt blue which turned out to be just what I needed.
The background was somewhat frustrating to paint, but it was just a case of keeping painting until I was happy with the balance. I might still tweak it a bit.
Initially the painting was feeling very sad with a sense of free falling, almost like grief, but the sense of strands of colour weaving together I think makes her feel more suspended or carried.
I named it after I had a comment that the subject felt like she was in that state between wakefulness and sleep, about to drift away, which I liked very much.