A painting a day: #15, We See You

If you haven’t kept up with this project, here’s a quick summary: I did the first 12 paintings all on the same big sheet of paper. Those were all fairly realistic still lifes. For the second sheet of paper, I’m doing more free/abstract reworkings of all the paintings from the first sheet. The idea is that since the first sheet gave me practice in rendering objects accurately from life, the second sheet will be practice in painting freely, without so much care for the way things really look.

With the first two reworkings, I took the starter paintings and simplified them. With this third one, at first I thought that wasn’t an option; the original turnips were pretty much as simple as you can get. Then I realized there was still a way I could pare down: by painting a close-up. Instead of repainting the full turnips, I basically reduced them to tinted curves:


Then I decided the colors were too separate, so I added another layer of the purple and bled it a bit. I’m still not sure whether this was a mistake. I think if I were doing it again I might have bled it from the start, so there wouldn’t be those hard edges hiding underneath — or maybe I would have just left it as it was in the photo above. Not sure.


Side-by-side comparison with the original:


I like the essential composition and the fundamental concept of it, but I don’t know how well it works on the page:



There is something very enjoyable and liberating, though, about these three super-simplified, superfast paintings after so many detailed ones last week. This turnips reworking took me 39 minutes, which is longer than the crabapples revision, and yet faster than the quickest painting (Coil) on the previous sheet.

For the carrots, though, I have a slightly more complex concept in mind. You’ll see tomorrow.

No music today. Somehow I wasn’t in the mood for it.

Fun fact about the title: At first I was going to call the painting This Is an Ominous Turnup. Then I was going to call it Plunge. After sitting back and staring at it for a good while, I changed it to We See You, which keeps that looming-over-you feel of Ominous Turnup without the dubious pun. Still makes me giggle, though.