Not that I have ever been much of an impressionist but I really admire impressionists who create an illusion of reality. Frank Weston Benson is a good example, and there are many more.
I have always had the intention to make my work more impressionistic but finding a way to do that has been a little problematic.
In the past I’ve restricted my time, or used bigger brushes, or tried painting using large blocked out areas, in an attempt to make my work more impressionistic. I’ve been struggling with my latest painting but going over areas adding detail with a small brush just isn’t working this time. I’ve decided to abandon attempts at impressionism. My work will never be photo realistic but neither will it be impressionistic. From now on I will just paint it from the beginning as I think it should be.
This started with a YouTube video:
I was watching the video and noticed that the background trees looked very realistic. He is using a small brush and it’s working very well. I may not go quite so small with the brush but we’ll see. The more I watch him paint the greater the similarity with how I paint. The big difference is that I like to use larger brushes; they are faster. I’ve found in the past that if I use a small brush throughout, the contrast fades.
I’ve attached an old painting of mine. I’ve done this before because it is my favourite. It’s small, 12” x 16” and done on canvas board. That’s cardboard covered in fake canvas. It was done in a class with limited time. I remember an hour but it could easily have been less. This particular time we were allowed to use our entire colour pallet; halleluiah. The limited time is why it looks so unfinished. I’ve always thought it looked very impressionistic.
I don’t think my paintings will look significantly different but I’m hoping that they might complete faster and not be so much of a struggle if I simply abandon attempts to make my work more impressionistic.