This is a tonal painting I made based on a thumbnail sketch that looked promising (photo below). I had in mind something monochrome, very warm with darks that are near black. The effect was a bit different from my original idea.
You can clearly see the gesso show through as vertical lines. This is an effect I like – to me it emphasizes the reality of the painting surface, the abstractness of it – so I do not try to sand out or smooth edges in the under-layers before I start. I realize not everyone will like this, but there you have it.
The idea of using two distinct small elements in the painting (the tower at left and the small dot at right at the water’s edge) to create a sort of visual tension is something I learned from one of Thomas Aquinas Daly‘s books.
Here is a picture of the thumbnail on which the painting was based. It is just a design from the mind. I make these all the time and about one out of 10 seem to be painting-worthy.
So much to learn in this strange, wonderful life…one must have a mind of winter.