Work in progress part 2

The painting that I am currently working on is breaking new ground for me in more ways than one. Firstly, because I am working in mixed media for the first time and secondly, because it is making me consider working in other ways and not just in realism.

Because of time restraints I decided to work on a smaller scale but I wanted to still keep the detail. So I took one of the photographs I had prepared and cropped it. This made the painting long and thin, which is a different look for my work too.

I began this painting in the way I always do with a pale wash over the paper. I then drew a light sketch over the top. I tried to get the background material to look like the grey marl material that it was but I just couldn’t get it how I wanted by using paint. So I decided to try using coloured pencils. Polychromos pencils are professional coloured pencils and are oil-based but can still be painted over with acrylic paint. I hoped that the pencil would pick up the grain of the paper and give me the effect that I wanted and thankfully it did.

There is only one downfall for using the pencils and that is the shine or bloom you can get from creating several layers of pencil colour on top of each other. I haven’t remedied this yet. I have some test paper that I plan to test different ways of doing it. I anticipated this happening so have a practice painting ready. This way I don’t risk ruining the entire painting if I get it wrong.

With these bras being multi-layered, unlike the previous ones, it meant I had to go back to building layers again. I began by painting flat areas of colour for the base colour of each one and then began layering flat colours over the top to create the lace. The issue that I may incur with this one is that the background bra is black. I haven’t used black but a dark blue-grey. I won’t know until I have painted all of the bras basic lace colours before knowing if I will need to dampen down the dark blue-grey to make it blend into the background more. Once I have resolved those issues, I can then go in and put the shadows in.

That is, if I decide to. At this stage it has a Pop Art feel because of the flat areas of colour. Because of this I have decided to look at British Pop Art and do some experiments alongside this painting. Whether this will lead to a new way of working I don’t know. Can I still be satisfied with work that isn’t as photographic as my work up to this point? Can I be anything but a realist painter? Only time will tell.

I will add updates over the next few weeks so you can follow it as I create it.

Published by Tracy J Hughes

English artist living and working in Wales. A BA and MA Fine Art graduate from Aberystwyth University. Working in acrylic paint and coloured pencil creating still lifes and beach scenes.

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