The Early Stage. In this case, the "Ugly Stage." Every artist who has a good number of paintings under his belt has been here. It can be in the middle of the painting, near the beginning or on the cusp of completion. Often I know which pieces will have an Ugly Stage. (I knew the rocks were going to be an issue.) It is then I recognize that I need to power through this section and work on the painting even when I don't feel like it.
How did I know the rocks would be a sticky point for me? Well, having a Master of Science degree in geology can have its disadvantages. These Canadian Shield rocks are intermediate banded Precambrian gneisses. They have to look like intermediate banded Precambrian gneisses. Maybe most might not know these grayish brown lumps are intermediate banded Precambrian gneisses, but I do.
At this point, the rocks are a little too blue and need to have more texture and character. (This photo of the painting does make them look a bit bluer than I have painted them.) I think my best way to accomplish the subtlety of color I envision is to do some glazing with Liquin once this stage is dry.