Growing up on Dark Moor

This new painting, ‘Growing Up’, was inspired by a recent family outing to Devon, where I grew up. Regular Sunday afternoon walks / slogs up to and climbing one of the tors on Dartmoor, whatever the weather, were fairly frequent.  We were then rewarded with flasks of tea and chunky cheddar and pickle wholemeal sandwiches – hastily made, doorstep sized – upon return to the car. My daughter calls the place Dark Moor, an understandable slip of the tongue.

Painting in progress 1

The red shapes on top of the green and the rocky formation were painted as quickly and fluidly as possible. These areas mark out the composition, frame the picture and the red draws you into the focal point. I then sketched in the figure.

Painting in progress 2

When it came to painting the figure, which is my daughter, I concentrated on using larger brush strokes, adding instinctive highlights to her hair. I aimed to just hint at detail. It was crucial to get the position of her body and the perspective right. Her arm leads to the figures below.

Painting in progress 3

By adding the figures below, the picture makes more sense visually. I’ve added a touch of red to the painting since then, and hung it on the gallery wall. It is finished for the time being but the theme might well continue growing!

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