I wanted to practice painting a landscape with the oil paints before we go to Greece this October. After finding a copyright-free image that I liked, I started with the drawing. Using my imagination, I added the tops to the buildings that were cut off in the photo. Then I adjusted the composition by adding more sky space to the top and more sea to the right.
When I had a drawing I liked, I transferred it to the canvas. Next I painted in that golden sky and some of that same color as highlights on the water, then progress stopped. I did have to go out of town, but even when I returned I couldn't seem to get going again.
After a week, I examined my feelings and realized I was very anxious. I chose this image because I liked the low golden sunlight on the water and the buildings, which is want I wanted to capture in the painting. This was also the reason I was stuck. I wasn't sure how to proceed and I feared making mistakes. Once I realized that was the problem, I knew I had to move past this mental "creativity killer".
When I got up the next morning, I didn't allow myself time to think about it. I settled in, brushes in hand and decided I could get all the dark and light values in the rock face behind the buildings. This went so well, I continued with the rocks in the front of the buildings. My painting time was up, but now I felt like I wanted to finish the painting.
I am still uncertain on how to do the water, but I think if I just focus on the dark and light values one section at a time, I will be all right. I feel a bit nervous putting a painting that isn't finished out for everyone to see, but I am learning it is all about facing the fear!
Jeff's Corner: Sometimes your roadblocks may just be sobriety checks...