Well there's nothing like computer woes and an out of town trip to keep up the momentum for a painting demonstration! But at long last, here is the resolution to the demo I started in late April:
When I last left off, I had my concept and composition well planned out, so now I set to work on finishing. This involves painting in the foreground and punching up the highlights of the middle distance and background, where needed.
But something happens at this point. I kind of get too lost in the irises, making them too defined and pronounced. Soon I find my tunnel vision has gotten me so lost in the irises that they start to take over.
Argh! Attack of the irises! They've taken over and are rather too big and too saturated, creating more of a competition with the old abbey. I've also lost the lower wall in the middle distance almost entirely, which I rather liked, as it helped to lead the eye further into the painting.
My solution? Basically I scraped down the entire lower portion of the painting! Eh, it happens. The paint had become too thick to really rework, and sometimes it's easier and less distracting to just scrape it off in order to open it back up. In this case I felt a "do-over" was warrented.
Ahh...better. (At least I think so!) I've gotten my herb-covered wall back, and reworked the irises in the foreground so as to frame but not overpower. I've treated them a bit more impressionisitcally too, to flow better with the rest of the painting. I also decided to tone down some of the greens and golds in the middle distance to make them "sit back" in the picture plane.
At this point I'll conclude. If I touch it any more it will be only a tweak here and there. I've shot and re-shot the final several times but we are getting such dark days lately with all this rain that I can't seem to get the nuances in the colors quite right in the photo. This picture is close, but I'll likely try another shot once the sun comes out.