Oddly, this one threw some unexpected challenges at me. I had essentially completed the painting but for some reason, I could not get the small vase to look right - despite painting it twice. Once again it was looking like I should take up golf instead (do all artists think like this?).
I knew the composition worked and I was happy with the overall colour concept but the vase had to go. So I grabbed a painting knife and scraped off the vase and background. I never used to do this with my disappointments - I just "added them to the pile" - but if the overall composition is working, scraping is a very useful technique.
A few swift scrapes across the surface with the long side of the knife leaves an impression of the image behind in the primed surface, even on a smooth panel like this one (primed MDF). The ghosted image acts as an underpainting so from this point all attention can be focussed on colour rather than layout.
I took a photo of the setup and did a 20 minute painting in Photoshop.
(Red & Blue #2 - digital. 720x520px. © 2010, Andy Dolphin)
This was enough to convince me I did have some vague idea of what I was doing - I just had to make the paint do what I wanted it to do.
So the next day I took to the painting again and I think I got it right this time. Phew!
(Red & Blue #2, 20x24cm oil on panel. © 2010, Andy Dolphin)
Golf can wait until another day.