Should I Paint . . .tight?

‘No Stripes’ 8″ x 8″ Oil on Canvas £165 Click Here to Purchase

. . . or Loose?

Tea Pot & Clems‘ 8″ x 8″ Oil on Canvas SOLD

I have been painting compositions with Cornishware pottery lately and finding it exhausting as I attempt a high degree of realism. It takes me enormous concentration to render correctly (well as correctly as possible) all the ellipses involved in paintings like the one below and of course these are repeated again and again in all the stripes. Then to render the shifts in values around the vessels is also challenging. And I have found that in my collection of Cornishware that I have built up overtime the same colour varies across items and of course I need to reflect this!

Community 8″ x 20″ Oil on Panel

Working tightly on pieces like this leaves me craving to get some thick loose brushstrokes down. Every so often I’ll do some oil sketches and thumbnails in order to capture and put down ideas. This less self conscious and expressive approach tends to emphasise what initially appealed to me about the subject matter and helps me to determine if an idea is worth pursuing further in a painting. Below is an example of some of my thumbnails. The square pieces here are about 3″ x 3″

I am in a quandary as to which direction I want to go Tight or Loose? so I am going to alternate paintings now between tight and loose to see where it leads me.

Comments 4

  1. Dearest Nick, you are an extremely gifted artist and your ‘tight’ still lives are beyond comparison, the best of them being, quite literally, photographic (however exhausting they may be, bad luck!). For me, your ‘looser’ style of still life does not appeal as it is neither one thing nor the other – they seem to be trying too hard to be abstract so to speak so that they end up being contrived (sorry!). Your landscapes on the other hand (like our beach scene), have found their very own genuine style and technique which seems to flow naturally from your brush expressing a previously unknown freedom and insight into the way you see the world. Thank you for painting. A xox

    1. Post

      Thank you Alison. It is fascinating for me to learn what others see in my work. Thank you so much for your valuable feedback. N XOX

  2. Tight every time, you have an amazing talent for this, you can touch them. Your still life”old masters” style was amazing too! Still waiting to see some red carnations!!!! Keep well and keep up the good work.

    1. Post

      Thank you Sheila, and you never know when those red carnations might appear!

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