I added a couple of subtle layers to the painting yesterday afternoon that donâ€™t photograph well at all, but were very worthwhile; first some detail and definition in the internal structures of the wings â€“ painted in dense Prussian blue (using this lovely blue at its darkest end, where itâ€™s almost black) this additional layer of feathers hides amongst the work on the existing surface and gives a velvety variation to the colour and a subtle vibration to the painting. Itâ€™s dark on dark, so itâ€™s pretty discrete, but because the light hits the paint slightly differently thereâ€™s activity in the surface that brings it to life.
Secondly, the sky has been treated to a very delicate layer of thin Carbazole Violet that has tinted the blues and whites and brought some drama to the upper half. A little more work here to put the highlights back where they belong at the bottom of the clouds and the sky will be almost complete, meaning that I will be able to re-establish the hands fairly soon.
At the university itâ€™s finals week, so my students have been presenting their work in Â critiques. Iâ€™m very satisfied with them this semester; theyâ€™ve produced some particularly well-made work. My last class meets this morning, after which I will be examining portfolios, then turning in grades before getting ready for a winter solstice celebration dinner this weekend. Solstice begins on the eighteenth, lasting for seven days as the sun holds its position on the landscape at sunrise. Christmas is the day the sun begins to move toward the North again â€“ celebrated in the past as Sol Invictus, the victorious sun that conquers darkness and returns us to Spring and renewed growth.