I had some free time today, so I decided to break out a nice thick canvas and pop the lid of black Gesso. I’d used a background of white in my previous piece, so I thought it might be interesting to go with a darker base. You can see the prepared surface in the photo below, along with a host of colours.

Preparing the canvas

At this early point in the process, I didn’t have too many ideas, apart from a possible colour palette. As you can see, I’d chosen blacks, reds, whites and a nice gum green Matisse paint, which I thought might be interesting to try out. The only other idea I had was testing out some impasto techniques with a variety of palette knives.

This is all so new to me, and I’m really just experimenting with paints, colours and shapes. The whole process is actually quite draining because I find that I live with the painting until it’s finished. I stop to look at it whenever I pass; I’m adding and subtracting shapes and colours in my mind; I’m trying not to exert too much control in order not to kill the enjoyment, but at the same time I’m struggling to discover some reasonable guidelines so it’s not an absurd mess!

The afternoon ended with the canvas largely as you see below:

Blocking in shapes and colours – early in the process

I actually went back later in the evening and added some midnight blue texture paste to the left and blacked out the lined brown shape; which was a remnant of an earlier process of playing around with lines, shapes and spatial relationships.

Here’s a close-up of the heavy blue texture paint:

Adding more texture

See how thick the blue paint is? I like the way it stands up on the surface of the canvas. By applying it with a palette knife, I was able to move it around to produce a wave-like effect. To the left, I’ve also experimented with some soft charcoal scratchings. I like the idea of building a complexity of layers using other media, so I might even try pastels out.

As you can see, very early stages! I’m still trying to find my feet, but I have a much clearer idea now of where this piece might go.

Structure and chaos : my second painting
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12 thoughts on “Structure and chaos : my second painting

    • February 27, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks @sirpamononen 🙂 This one feels more guided than the last.

  • February 26, 2015 at 3:30 pm


    PS I’m a minimal girl – Mondrian, Nicholson etc and I see it gradually getting more and more simple as you hone down to the “essence” of what you’re trying to achieve

    PSS Of course that’s the joy of talking about the creative process online, lots of random twats like me butting in with our opinions :mail:

    • February 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Ahh yes @sufiah-yusof ! I like Kandinsky and Rothko. Rothko’s later more spiritual works are of great interest to me. Editing…minimising..finding that bone structure and essence. Yes, this is what I strive for. Not always successful. I’ll post anupdate to the canvas tomorrow. Quite different now.
      I like sharing it by the way :good: Thank you.

  • February 26, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Love it! The texture and colour differences adds interesting depth. You must be channeling the photographer in you.

    • February 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      I try @maesha-shannon 🙂 I actually failed Art in grade 11 at school. I was too busy drawing robots and flirting with the girls at my table :wacko:

        • February 28, 2015 at 1:38 am

          Ha @sufiah-yusof 🙂 If only I’d been bold enough ! I knew I was washed up when the teacher humiliated me in front of the class for my poor effort on the rather boring art project.


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