Wonderfully Gray

I’ve been working on a few paintings over the last couple of weeks. They are all small works in gouache on paper.

I started painting again recently to fulfill a couple of requests I’ve had lingering since my birthday giveaway in June. Hard to believe almost half a year has gone by since then! Both were for the stone painting from Day 11. I’ve been making an effort to check things off my to-do list, and this was a fun task to tackle.

stones

I mixed up a lovely gray color for the stone shapes. In fact, I mixed up a LOT of lovely gray paint, so I had a lot left over. Gray is one of my favorite colors, and I felt sad at the thought of the extra going to waste, so instead of continuing with the stone paintings right away, I decided to make a few other “impromptu” paintings to use up some more of the paint.

round

edges

I didn’t plan either of these out. I started by adding lines at the corners and working my way into the center. They developed in a really natural, instinctive way, which is one of my favorite ways to create. With some of the styles of drawings and paintings that I do, initial planning can be really helpful, but there’s something very satisfying about getting my brush wet with paint and just going for it.

I’m really pleased with these paintings. I find them both soothing and powerful and the same time. And also wonderfully gray!

After a few days had passed, the gray paintings were still on my mind, so I decided to sit down and paint in the same manner and see what I could come up with.

four

I painted a similar radial-style composition. This time I worked from the center out toward the edges, which yielded a slightly more off-center final look. When I was finished and compared this piece with the first two, I was surprised by how different it looked. While they are all still very similar in most ways, I find that the 3rd piece overall has a more refined look, and the brush strokes are more regular. The difference could have resulted from painting from the center to the edges instead of the edges to the center, but it’s still somewhat curious. Maybe I was just in a different mood?

For the last painting I also worked from the center toward the edges, but abandoned the radial composition.

square

I started out with a zig-zag pattern in mind, but it quickly devolved to a less structured texture. The dark gray box in the middle only exists to cover up an area that really bothered me. Because of the way I painted the lines in that section, there was a rounded shape within the pattern, and for some reason it really bugged me! I tried to “fix” it, but before I knew it, I was smushing paint all over that area, and finally painting in the rectangular form. Can you sense my frustration with this piece?

I honestly didn’t think this last painting was going to see the light of day anywhere on the internet, but after setting it aside and looking at it a few days later, something about the painting intrigued me. It’s definitely grown on me, and I really like the texture-pattern area toward the bottom. That was the last section that I filled in, and I think it has potential. It’s irregular and regular at the same time, and I can definitely see doing a larger piece in that style.

What do you think of these paintings? Do you love gray as much as I do, or is there another color you’d be sadder to see dry up, unused on the palette?

10 thoughts on “Wonderfully Gray

    • I think it might feel different because it’s a bit of a looser style. I find it similar to some of the geometric works I’ve done lately with colored pencil, so maybe it also feels different since it’s paint?

  1. these are so cool…i’m a big fan of lines. and gray! i often mix a color that i love so much i simply can’t bear for it to go to waste, so i’ll just start another painting so i can use it!

    • I think it’s good to be able to use leftover color, especially if it helps spark a new idea! If I really have a big glob left over, I’ll also sometimes save them in tiny little pots that have an airtight seal. They are great if you want to finish a painting later on with the same color!

  2. Fun to see your latest progress and to read your thought-process as you go. I like the gray, which comes across as very friendly and warm somehow ~ maybe because of the patchworks of lines and patterns. Really nice!

  3. I like the circular one at the top the best. It feels…cheerful? But your work is always so surprising, lines that somehow become more than just line & shape. How do you infuse them with such emotion?

    • Thank you Kye! That circular one is one of my favorites of the bunch too. As for the emotion, I’m not sure. I’ve always thought that all art is in a way a self portrait of the artist, so maybe that has something to do with it?

  4. HAH. I already loved my stone painting to bits! I felt like it was destiny for me to win him and I was just SOSOSO happy when you sent it to me. Now my pride has swelled to mammoth proportions knowing that you’ve since had two commission requests based on the lovely little beauty that is MINE!!! He is hung on a wall that I can see from my studio desk, the kitchen and the main hallway – I love it and appreciate it every day.

    Also super stoked to see you posting frequently again. I missed your creative entries. all the best darling <3

    • Thanks dear! Yes, the stone painting was a super hit. I still get lots of random compliments on it. It feels good to be posting again. I guess I just needed to hibernate for a little while!

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