I have been in the mood for something technically challenging and this painting was just what I needed. Elliptical lines, highly detailed patterns and inky blacks were all things I wrestled to solve within this piece.
I will admit, I cheated a little on my limited palette. I have also decided that it is okay within this series to have one additional colour per painting if needed. I was fighting to blend some deeper shades using cobalt blue, cadmium red and burnt umber but they were not taking me where I wanted to go. I was resorting to thin washes to build up a black colour and I wanted to apply paint quicker and thicker. I fell back on a small smudge of phthalo blue to push everything darker. I was trying to avoid such a dominant blue (my over reliance on phthalo blue was one of the reasons why I stripped my palette black – it is too easy for it to take over once you start tinting it).
This works and I still feel like this painting is feeling balanced. The phthalo blue is like the occasional treat on a diet – one colour in a painting won’t ruin all your hard work everywhere else. Besides - it’s something to maintain sanity, like a nice piece of chocolate!