How the painting is put together, the design, the composition will always be the most important element of painting to me.
That’s why I have a list of images in queue ready to be started but waiting for a solution to design problems. This is one of those images. Even though it had a lot going for it, the colors were washed out and the photo was flat, no real contrast. Having no distinguishable dark areas and light makes it hard to compose a painting, so I decided to really push the values where I needed them in order to make a good break up of the space.
Starting with the darks, the framework, the anchor, I used Burnt Sienna to get a warm glow underneath the build up of paint I was planning to do. I wanted to keep the darks moving through the picture. I remember once someone said you should be able to walk across the darks in your paintings.
I used Gamblin’s oil priming on the canvas for this painting, it creates a slick surface but provides a ground where a lot of textural effects can be used, which was great for this subject with old wood surfaces.