Aspiring to Realism

realistic oil painting of llyn y fan fach

I’m now in the final stages of my Llyn y Fan Fach panorama painting. I took it off the wall after a couple of weeks’ drying and worked on the details. Original time estimates for completion went out the window, but I just felt the more detail I put in, the happier I was with it.

I think I’ve always aspired to realism as my painting style, but with this piece, I feel I’ve got closer than ever to achieving that. My earlier paintings from 2017-2018 have a somewhat looser style mainly brought about by my inexperience with the actual media, using painting mediums, colour mixing, values – and not to mention time.

But the hours I’ve put in painting since the start of the year have taught me so much – mainly through trial and error. I feel I’ve come a long way towards being where I want to be with my style. Painting in oils also suits me immensely, especially as I squeeze my painting into relatively short sessions around a full-time day job. Working like this with acrylics would be extremely challenging.

My plans for how I’m going to approach future paintings are now a lot clearer in my mind. I’m more knowledgeable about which colours to use where, and how they’ll work with each other. I’m detecting patterns in the painting process – becoming familiar with phenomenons such as the ‘ugly stage’ and knowing to accept it as part of the process rather than to lose heart. I seem to be developing a process!

There are several scenes I’ve desperately wanted to paint over the last few years. Each time I retreated in fear. I knew I just wasn’t ready. Well, now I do feel ready. This doesn’t mean I’ve fallen into a false sense of security – I know full well those pieces are going to be a challenge not only in their complexity but also the sheer amount of time I will need to put into them. Those paintings are going to take me even closer to the realism I aspire to and it’s a challenge I’m ready to accept.

Published by Chris

Landscape artist Chris Richards lives on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in the village of Ystradgynlais. Chris works mainly in oils, but also dabbles with acrylics, ink pens, watercolours, and soft pastels.

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