Llyn y Fan Fach Colour Study

oil painting colour test on scene of llyn y fan fach

I was pretty downbeat about yesterday morning’s painting fail. Yes, I learnt a lot from it but situations like this do knock my confidence as an artist and subsequently sap my motivation. I always move to a different piece after messing up, but making that move is an agonising process. I tend to lose my inspiration behind a depressing psychological block.

After spending over an hour scrolling through images, I found one I’d taken at Llyn y Fan Fach, one of my favourite places in Wales that I’d taken in the winter of early 2016. I decided I’d go large with this scene, so it’s going on an 80x30cm canvas (the aspect ratio suits this scene perfectly).

I sketched out the scene and hung it on the wall. This is to give me time to live with the composition before making any brush strokes. Remembering what I said yesterday, I grabbed all the colours I thought I’d need and set about playing with mixes for the final piece on a small re-gessoed canvas from a painting I’d previously messed up last year.

I slipped into a ‘flow’ state and before I knew it, I’d painted a mini version of the scene. So by letting go of expectations I painted something I was really pleased with. Obviously it’s not to the quality of a finished piece, but it’s given me the impetus to move on to the larger version with confidence. Maybe these small test pieces are the way to go with my process?

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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