The scroll trilogy paintings are starting to come into focus. I think I can officially rename the piece from the ambiguous "Scroll Landscapes", to "The Gandalf Triptych."
In order to echo more of a Japanese aesthetic, I consider the concept of including a frame painted into the design. I have never done this before, and I'm not sure on how it will be fulfilled, (whether a painted frame or applied graphic or even gold gilding.) But I've masked off the appropriate surround with tape to include this into the design. If this concept does not work out I can always paint over it later.
Pressing onward I begin the "Pushing Paint" phase of my painting. This is just what it sounds like and is just as fun. Since all three pieces are to be interrelated, I'm painting them together, and once again being influenced by my Japanese source material, I'm picturing a very monochromatic gray tonal image for all three.
Gray-Blue-Green. This is a great undertone for covering the canvas. It lends itself to tonal mood, and atmosphere, while can also be easily punctuated with colors leading into the purple-violet-red scale allowing popping orange-yellow highlights of fire and light to accent the design. This will also stand out very nicely with the envisioned gold-gilt framing.
Here I'm pushing the design's value scale from mid tone washes into a misty cool background with deep rich foreground elements. This "Pushing Paint" stage is still very abstract and loose. My intent is to get the entire canvas covered with paint. This is not one of those paint-by-number paintings, where you first paint the face, then paint the tree, then paint the cloak, then paint the hair, etc. and follow the steps until its done. I'm designing as I go, carving and softening edges and shapes and forms out of paint until the positive and negative elements work individually and as a triptych. This is both thumbnail and painting at the same time. The lump of clay beginning to take shape. I'm trying to create a mirror image in the left and right panels, with the Mines of Moria and the Ruins of the Gray Havens having similar shapes. The central panel is symmetrical.
Still early days. Keep posted to see what happens next!