Rethinking the Fortress and New Moons


The Fortress, Oil on Panel, 12 x 24 inches, 2018

I was mildly dissatisfied with the Fortress when I completed it earlier this summer. At that time, however, I figured that I might as well just make an entirely new painting if I wanted to change its lighting scheme and palette. But sitting on my couch each night looking at it hanging above my television the picture became increasingly bothersome. How did I manage to paint something so grey, flat, and colorless? Eventually I began thinking: for the amount of time I spent on the Fortress it should be a much better painting. It finally nagged me enough to drive me into action and the Fortress's post mortem became inevitable. You can compare the original with the updated version below.

The original Fortress (top) had a lighting scheme similar to the Permanent City, with the left side of the building lit up and the right sides in shadow. I flipped this around by mixing a light yellow, light orange, and light purple and modulating them across the shadowed surface. The result (bottom) is a much more realistic, luminous, image.

Oil paintings can be worked on over long periods of time. So long as you add oil to your new layers they will stabilize on top of the old ones. So long as you never exceed a 50/50 oil to paint mixture you'll get a stable paint layer. Titian would sometimes rework his pictures years after their completion. In one instance he had one of his disciples strip the varnish from a painting so that he could make corrections on it ten years after its completion.

A new set of miniatures, each just 5 x 5 inches. I actually completed these a while ago but forgot to post them. Very similar to my last set of moons (bottom of this post) just smaller. Left to right, blue moon, harvest moon, blood moon.


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