Monday, December 7, 2015

"Morning on the Silk Road" process

"Morning on the Silk Road" is approximately 8"x10" on some sort of smooth mat board. It began with an acrylic wash in pink and yellow, giving me oranges, too. The early drawing was in oranges, browns and reds: all warm colors.

I didn't take a photo of the wash without any ink drawing, but I think you get a good idea of what I started with from the first picture. 

Just before I took this photo, my brain had an argument with itself:
A - There's a little tree, right there. 
B - Yes. Make the trunk simple. 
A - Okay, good idea. And the top should be green. 
B - WHAT?!?! Are you nuts!? 
A - No, green is good. It will be different. 
B - Right. It will stick out like a sore thumb. 
A - It will be a highlight, a point of interest. Green. 
B - You're crazy. Go ahead. Mess it up. 
A - Going green!!! 
B - Hunh. That's not bad. 
A - It's great!! YAAAY!!

Below,  the foreground is done. I found a tiny crescent moon in the upper left. I used the bump on the right-hand tower to make some interesting stone features. I realized that the bright yellow was a focal point and I think that's when the title came to me. I often forget to leave space for the title and signature and have to squeeze them in somewhere, but I remembered this time! I added a bit of green in the three trees in the background.

Some folks thought it was finished at this point, but I was quite bothered by the division in the wash around the upper left corner and across the top. I had to do something about that.

I tangled across the top so that odd band doesn't show and it now looks to me as if I'm looking out of a fancy tent. I realized that I didn't like the green trees in the background and that I wanted the little green tree to be the only green, so I took the green out of the trio of trees. I added a bit of pink to the sky on the right to divide the white area. The shadows are blended and more subtle.

You can see, around the edges, where I've tested colors. :)

I like how the image is contained by the border (almost), and how the path and the border lead the eye around the picture. I also like how the eye bounces between the little green tree and the bright sunlit sky and tower in the background.

And there it is, pretty much finished. Now for a frame.


  1. So Beautiful! And thanks for taking us through your processes. I've read bits of it before, but it's terrific to see it all together!

  2. This has my eyes roaming everywhere, never stopping to inspect flaws :) Delightful!

  3. I LOVE your imaginary work, Margaret. I also am totally entertained by your commentary regarding the little green tree. So much of what I am reading here goes on in my head too - the talking back and forth- it's so much fun how you captured that. Thanks for your beautiful art and how much you share with us!

  4. Thanks for an insight into your process - this is such an informative & entertaining post. You're a wonder!
    Paula (PEP)

  5. That looks gorgeous! Now I have to look at your whole blog to discover more of that great paintings. Seriously I love the painting!

    Best regards,

  6. now, this is just too awesomeness. Love everything including the brain commentary.


  7. I love this piece, and especially the border that you added at the top. It was the perfect way to finish it off. I wish my mind was as creative as yours

  8. That is just amazing! And proof that, while I can DO the tangles, I am not an artist/. :-)

  9. Love, love, love everything about this! It's amazing how adding your Copada border made it magical!

  10. Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing the process-it's a fun read too;-)

  11. That wad a great walk-through!! Thanks for taking us along for the ride!! Great colors too.... And wonderful image.

  12. I love everything about this piece. Your commentary has helped me learn much about the process.

  13. So interesting to read the background thinking to the piece. Love it Margaret!

  14. What a kind and fun post and what a beautiful and ispiring art! Thank you Margaret! :)

  15. This is magical...