Okay, I lied. The current canvas is still hideous, but it is too sticky to keep working on at the moment. So I shall lay bare my process and show it to you.
This is how "Dissolution," as it is tentatively and temporarily titled, appeared for about a month after I stalled on it:
General theme--roses, cliff, sun, decay, movement. Love going into light and ashes. Cliche'd rot like that. Don't blame me, I don't make this up, it's dropped into my soul like a bird between two mountains and I have to try to paint it.
So after staring at it for a month I turned it upside down for a fresh, less literal perspective and whacked into it again:
Generally, ambiguity has increased, transitions are richer, and the corny rose shapes are almost obliterated.
Right side up again; horizon line more dynamic, interesting, fully realized; scratching into the inner 'rose' in a more geometric, compass-like way. Circular shape mirroring sun shape; 'as above, so below' theme seems to be happening.
Extending and defining lines, light, shadow, form; 'roses' starting to appear again out of the muck.
And here we stall again. Trying to integrate 'organic' rose form with geometric compass lines, plus light and texture and variety of color, and signally failing. Tune in next week after next scrapedown.
Meanwhile, on the next canvas, we have a grounded mandala:
You would not believe how hard and time-consuming it is to get these things centered and symmetrical.
Still not terribly dynamic.
A bit better. This is only a rough estimation; most of the lines will be tweaked and/or obliterated when the actual paint goes on. I have big plans for this one, but that would be telling.
Layer of pale yellow underpainting, which must dry thoroughly before I touch it again, or it will just come off when I paint over it and not remain to glow through when I paint over it with white or scratch into it. It's also incredibly hard not to completely obliterate the charcoal.
Good thing I took photos.