Standing Tall, 24 x 12 inches, oil on linen
You've seen this one before when I talked about struggling with large, dark, passive areas in my composition. Well, it's been bugging me ever since, and I finally decided to go back into it and just paint what's there, instead of trying to force a contrived atmospheric shadow.
I think that the idea was good, but my execution sucked. I blamed it on getting too dark and flat, but the real problem was that it looked like I was avoiding painting something difficult. Cheating, in other words.
I can honestly say that that wasn't my intent - I wanted to simplify and abstract the lower part of the painting in order to focus on the church architecture. But ya know, it just wasn't looking convincing. And I detest the idea of looking like I was cheating. It bothers the hell out of me that I may be declaring that I can't paint something because it's too difficult so I'm just gonna throw it in the shadow. Especially when it's not that difficult.
So if only to satisfy my ego, I went back into the painting and pulled the buildings out of the dark shadow. Now it's a lot busier but it works much better, too. The solidity of objects in perspective really adds to the sense of environment and depth. I like the opaque, tonal application of the paint too. Sort of Bernie Fuchs-ish, except that it's opaque. Or maybe that's just the colors I chose, the linked shapes, and keyed up shadow values.
At one point it was getting too fussy and rendered, so I knocked back some detail and treated the foreground tree with aggressive brushwork. The juxtaposition of different treatments is kinda funky but I think it looks like a Miura, nonetheless.