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After Development

I was musing the other day on the relationship between sketchbook work and pieces derived from it and, in particular, how I find my feelings can change about a sketch once I’ve developed a painting from it. The particular pair I had in mind was this sketch (pen and felt tips):

Abstract view of a stained glass window

Unexpected Elephants – Sketch

… and this painting (acrylic paint and pen):

Abstract view of a stained glass window

Unexpected Elephants – Painting

I was pleased with the original sketch but it was a bit of a throwaway piece, created while listening to a sermon at St Clement’s, Oxford. A few weeks later, I experimented with rendering the image in acrylics. It was a new experience, to take an earth tone underpainting and develop it with echoes of the highlight colours – you can see green, red and yellow worked in as glazes over the browns. Whereas the sketch started off with black pen, the painting ended with the pen work.

Thinking about it afterwards though, I think I appreciate the original sketch more now that I have developed a further piece from it. No need to start with a blank canvas – I can turn back through my sketchbooks for inspiration. That probably should have been obvious from the beginning but I haven’t done much in that vein for a long time and I’m finding it refreshing to rediscover.

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