Yielding to advice, I've decided not to muck about with the Hoy Monument oil any further - you can go on refining a painting for months, even years: but on the whole, I said what I wanted to say, and any more would be waffle.
So, I've started a new one - only this time, it's an acrylic: this is the first stage of it, and it looks pretty ghastly at the moment; but I'm confident it WILL look much better in due course. Strange how the photograph shows bits of the underpainting showing through in the sky area which actually aren't visible to the naked eye: the flash has exposed them - so probably they would be visible under certain lighting conditions if I left the sky as it is. But there are several glazes of colour to go on top yet - so far, it's had Burnt Sienna, Zinc White and Raw Sienna, and Ultramarine (not a blue I normally use) for the sky. A layer or two to go on yet - but the idea is not to finish one area of the painting independently of the others, but to work on the whole picture and - as it were - bring it up together.
I need to get a few new paintings finished because Vectis Artisans, a new group of Isle of Wight artists which I've joined, has an exhibition in a month or so - I want to show some work that's not been seen before, and the quickest way of doing it is going to be to use acrylics: they dry much quicker, and can be varnished a week or so after completion. To varnish an oil painting earlier than 6 months after completion is to risk it cracking.
This one is also based on a photograph by Bob Blake - so one way or another, I have enough photographs and sketches to keep me going until I'm around 90 .... in theory. In practice, I'm always on the look-out for more. Hope he reads this hint....