Here is the finished chard image and it now has a name, "Swiss Chard Mosaic". The background is more of a dark plum/navy rather than black as it may appear on your screen. I hope you have enjoyed watching it progress. I started off calling the WIPs 'My Journey to a Painting' and it has been an interesting journey indeed. Remember the pictures of my photo shoot?
And now I have a finished work of art! Where I thought I was going on this journey sure isn't where I ended up. You might recall that originally I had hoped to do a piece that included lots of lovely long stalks. Unfortunately a fair bit of the stalks were already trimmed off so I had to rethink my approach. I ended up with a series of back lit photos that I loved. Remember how I started off the piece quite bright so that in the end the work would still have a quality of brightness? :-) Little did I know at the time that the whole piece would be somewhat on the bright side!
So what happened? Simply put, art happened. This piece just flowed along and I decided to flow along with it, to see where the current would take me...I was up for an adventure and I got one. It didn't end up looking as I had originally thought it might but I love the end result.
My process at the end: I finished off my background by going over it with a stiff brush. I actually used a stencil brush and I brushed over the background so the pigment would be ground in well to the sanded surface. It gives the background a bit of a 'buffed' appearance. Next, I went in and cleaned things up. I am a bit fanatical about this stage. I really want my painting to look great close up as well as from a distance. So I examine the work inch by inch. I add pigment here and there to make sure my coverage is consistent and I clean up edges. I go back over the highlights as they usually get dulled down a tiny bit as I brush off my work. I step back often from the piece to see what needs adjusting. This stage takes me a few hours (for a larger work) but I find it satisfying. For me, this final tweaking is what makes the work appear finished.
So now I will tape it to the wall of my studio for a while. From this new perspective, I will look at it often and I will be able to see if something isn't quite right - before it gets framed!
And oh the joys of simple things! I bought a new pencil sharpener a few days ago and boy are my pencils ever sharp now!! I am so happy. My old one started to suddenly malfunction. I wasn't happy about that. The sharpener inside started to wobble a bit as I sharpened pencils. They came out with a blunt end and they were hardly sharpened at all. I haven't had this happen before. I am so glad it started to do this because until I got my new sharpener I hadn't realized how dull my stainless steel blades in my old one had become. It was so gradual I just didn't notice. But wow, with this new sharpener, my pencils have fantastic sharp points. Absolutely yummy to work with. Sort of like when you don't think your skates are that dull and then you get them sharpened! :-) Did you know that Ottawa has the world's longest natural outdoor skating rink in the world? The Rideau Canal is 7.8 km long or almost 5 miles and it cuts through the city. Of course you can skate up and down to put in a 10 mile skate! Along the route there are warming huts, picnic tables and booths where you can buy warm pastries (they are called Beaver Tails) and hot chocolate. The canal has lights along the length of it so you can skate at night - my favourite time to go...to see what I am talking about you can check it out by clicking here.