Red and Blue – She is a little bit of each…

“If I don’t have red, I use blue.” – Pablo Picasso.

(First published in 2017 when I painted faces and updated with photos. )

She's a little red with a touch of blue - mixed media portrait

“She’s a little red with a touch of blue” – 11 x 15″ mixed media on Canson 140 lb watercolour paper.

I was in a bit of a creative slump earlier this week.

In case you wonder what that’s like, it happens when nothing I paint turns out to my liking.

Hubby of course would disagree with this statement. Not in so many words of course, just with one of his looks that says, “what’s wrong with this one?” or “it’s just as good as any of the other ones you have done.” He is my number one fan and cheerleader.

So, back to the slump…No reason for it other than maybe spending just a little too much time painting…is that even possible?

I think that we all need a break sometimes from our interests whether it is art, knitting, cycling, reading…not a long break mind you, but just enough to feel refreshed when we start up again.

Several projects are lined up on the counter in my art room much like planes waiting on the runway to leave for far away destinations.

One project must be glazed, but until the charcoal is set, I can’t continue working on it, otherwise, the charcoal will smudge into the fresh coat of glaze. It sits drying on newspaper.

Many sheets of watercolour paper are prepped with a base coat or with collage so my art room is in just a teensy bit of a mess right now. O.K. so that is an understatement!

Some time ago, I bought a brand of acrylic paint that I absolutely detest. Is that a good reason to use red?

This portrait was going to be a tonal study of all the shades of red with the purpose of using up some of that dreaded paint.

Then, I wondered what would happen if?

What if I added some blue to the red? I tried to be more painterly and not blend too much. Altogether, I am happy with the results of this experiment.

(Below are examples of portraits I have completed over the years. Read about the process here and here. )

red paint in coffee

Yes, that is red paint in the bottom of my coffee cup. Thankfully, I only had one sip left of very cold java. Lesson learned? Keep the brush water away from the coffee cup.

2 Responses

  • If you’re not happy with a painting then I find no amount of praise will change your mind. Though it might be worth putting away and looking at again in a month or two. I have changed my mind (both ways) after a period of separation.
    As for having some paint you detest, I mistakenly got a tub of a blue shade of green, instead of a green shade of blue. This paint had been kicking around for a while, when I needed some very dark backgrounds and I decided to mix it with some cad red. It was just the job. So when I want some very dark paint I reach for the green – though I wont be buying any more – well, not deliberately.

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