Dear November is, to use contemporary parlance, an upgrade. The painting has been drying on my studio wall, held in reserve for a show later this year. However, the more I looked at it, the more I thought it wasn’t quite finished. The subject is those fluttery, papery leaves that hang on nearly all winter. Their movement in winter’s winds is poetic, while their color slowly fades to off-white. I decided to emphasize the color and movement a bit more, to bring the painting in accord with what I most like – the color and movement in an otherwise grayish month. I added more contrasting values and strokes, made the red/rust/coral/plum more saturated, and deepened the blues. Feels better. The original version is below, along with details from the newly finished Dear November. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: The more I use my soft rubber rollers to apply layers of paint and to blend those layers with over-rolling, the more I love the soft-focus results. Interweaving the rolling with brushwork adds mystery to the subject, and offers a contrast of sharp and soft focus. I add some WInsor Newton Liquin Impasto medium to the paint that will be rolled, to increase transparency and to speed drying. One caution – it’s easy to get carried away with the roller and lose the subject!