Now that I have redefined the light and shade, and the contouring of muscle, I have come to realise the background isn’t working. Its too busy and is fighting against the simplicity of the figure. It needs to be toned down which is a shame because I quite like it, however I have to remember I am doing one painting on one canvas, not two on one as my father would say when taking the morning egg orders…
My father was a retired Merchant Navy sea captain and he hung onto regimented routine with grim death. On hindsight, I think it was his only form of control in a world gone mad around him. Anyway, I digress. Part of the workday morning routine was the taking of egg on toast orders. We would still be in bed, rubbing our eyes open in preparation for his timely visit. It went something like this,
“Two on one please Dad”
” One on One please Ted”
“Three on Two please Dad” (The greedy one was my brother)
To translate, two eggs on one toast. The eggs were always without exception perfectly poached, not a burst yoke to be seen.
But again I digress, back to the painting, I was wondering how to fix the background when Stephen suggested I have a look at Ida Outhwaite who was an Australian illustrator of children’s books. He explained the wonderful simplicity of her work, the background acting as a backdrop to the figures centre stage. “Ummm” I’m thinking looking back at my painting, wondering how to pull that one off. Well, this week I have a plan and my plan is to prepare a small canvas and have a wee play.