Landscape Flag Cross

At last I got a full day in the studio, getting a lot of painting done. It was so exciting to be able to develop ideas as the day passed, imagining new steps to take to drive the painting forward.

There being no students in sight to help me I turned the painting over again, no mean feat considering its scale, and one that I don’t particularly want to do again. I worked almost entirely on the landscape, building reflections of flags, clouds and rocks in the surface of the pool, then adding some little stones that just break the surface of the water, helping to create the illusion of reflection.

Putting down a base onto the rocks, then using a palette knife to scrape white onto their left sides has given them some substance that will work well with a glaze over it.

There are many more flags than there were yesterday, and I’m far happier with them now that the landscape is far more clearly divided by the shape of a cross meeting at the top corner of the pond. Getting their reflections in the pool was very interesting because the physics of reflection isn’t particularly simple. It seems that when an object is actually touching the water the reflection starts right there at its base, while objects above the horizon should be measured to their height above the horizon line, then dropped down to the reflective surface in mirror image. Stuff resting on the ground in between the horizon and the reflective surface is harder to figure out because the angle of reflection from the surface to the top of the object isn’t immediately obvious when inventing a landscape!

Finally, I’ve added a string of little pebbles on the ground corresponding to those that are in the water, making the land and the pond feel unified in the same place. These white blobby shapes will require definition and colour before they look like the golden stones I imagine.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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