The Big One

It’s Challenge No. 4, and the painting which has been taking up all my spare time (not that there’s been too much of that) is finally finished. I think…

The Challenge this time which Andy and I set ourselves was on the theme of ‘Water,’ and we chose this fishing scene of my son and a friend. To be painted in acrylic, on a big canvas, 24 x 30 inches. We did our studies (mine’s here) and then gave ourselves a laughable 3 hours to see what we could get done on our respective paintings. It turned out that the answer was ‘not that much.’ However, we both decided it would be time well spent to press on and see what we could make of the scene, however long it took.

And it took hours. I have lost count, but I reckon I’ve spent at least 10 hours on this, over two weeks, although quite where the time has gone I couldn’t say. (As usual, the camera has bumped up the blues and whites in this pic).

Clapper bridge acrylic

Covering the big canvas was definitely part of that – I really underestimated the amount of paint it would swallow, and how long it would take just to get a basic covering of paint onto it, without even getting down to the details. One of the advantages of taking the painting more slowly was that I was able to be more critical about each session’s progress. I definitely learned a phenomenal amount. For example: how tricky it can be to get translucency and ‘believability’ into the water (I ended up layering paint, and then using a pretty dry brush to skid over the top); the importance of varying the type of stroke to show different textures; how to compensate for an over-exposed source photo which has made all the skin tones even whiter than standard English skin; and the difficulty of painting a face you can’t really see. I also learned that for big pictures I think I prefer painting on board rather than canvas. This is because the canvas gave a grainy final surface tricky to paint detail on, whereas the board would have been smooth textured and would have made the skin much easier to deal with (and particularly the faces) I’m sure.

So here it is, finally done. I’d like to put this one on the wall, I think. It’s a good memory of a very happy day, and now it’s also a symbol of another hurdle attempted. So that’s two reasons to be cheerful.



20 thoughts on “The Big One

  1. Excellent job, Rebecca ~ It defintely LOOKS like you invested a whole lot of time and effort into it and it totally deserves to go on your wall! Something to be proud of and that water came out so well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much Siddie! Yes, I was very pleased to have it finished, it seemed to take forever… πŸ˜‰ It’s now perched on top of the piano, waiting for someone to bang a nail in for it to hang from! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay! P.s. Aww, i’m envious that you have a piano! Not only do they sound beautiful, but they’re aesthetically pleasing also. Pianos and paintings go nicely together, methinks! Enjoy playing your piano, then looking up and seeing the lovely painting you did πŸ™‚


  2. Stunning, Rebecca! Yes, one needs a lot of paint for these big canvases. Interesting about your thoughts on using board instead. What a great challenge. I am floored by the authenticity of the blonde boy bending over … his figure is so real. Very photorealistic yet painterly. Well done, brilliant in fact!

    Liked by 1 person

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