Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Good Mud, Bad Mud

Good Mud - is painting mud because it fits your painting, beautifully painted mud.
Bad Mud -  yucky mud happens from trying to rescue a painting because it has something you love.
I hardly ever create yucky mud but this past week or so it has happened twice and both times it was not the subject but the background. In my classes I tell students its best to try and work on the background and the subject as a whole and if I did just this my two lots of mud would have been avoided. After spending many hours painting a beautiful subject and then deciding what to do with the background can be a challenge and if the background doesn't work out all the hours spent on the subject has been wasted.
I redeemed myself yesterday by repainting my 3 ducks, changing the composition too so it felt like a totally new work. This time I knew how I wanted to paint the ducks because I had three lovely ducks from the day before sitting before me in their really muddy background, so I started with the background. I added water around the ducks so no masking fluid was required. I added colours I would use in the subject to create texture. When this was about 70% done I started on the ducks, adding finishing touches to the background when they were finished.

Listen Up
Arches 300gsm Hot Press Paper
57cm x 35cm


  1. What a lovely ducky painting. Good for you trying again with no mucky mud included.

  2. What a beautiful painting. Your ducks look so real, and the background is awesome, Lorraine. I always find it hard to re-paint a subject, but you really pulled it off like the pro that you are.

  3. Love the ducks Lorraine! Somehow I can't imagine bad mud in your paintings, but how frustrating after finishing the subject.

  4. Love the ducks and the background is so impressive. I know how it feels to finish the subject, look at the background and say "now what?"

  5. Dear Lorraine this one turned out beautifully- no bad mud here! Have a super day.

  6. I agree with your methods, Lorraine. It really created a beautiful, vibrant painting! It is frustrating to work on something and have the background not work, I guess it's also part of the fun!


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