Apr 8, 2013
Mar 30, 2013
Mar 27, 2013
Aug 16, 2006
Here is a new piece from start to finish. I am working in acrylics on canvas 15" x 30". I am aiming for semi-abstraction with the emphasis on colour and light, .... we will see how it turns out!
Stage One: Yesterday I did my drawing (taken from a reference photo) and then brushed diluted gesso to some areas to add a little bit of texture. It also makes the painting effects somewhat unpredictable!
Stage Two: Today I started the heavily shadowed area. I want this part of the painting to be interesting - not just very flat shadow. I mixed up fairly watery solutions of Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Pyrole Crimson (all Atelier), - about to the consistency of thin cream.
I lightly wetted the area to be painted and then dropped and dribbled the paints over the canvas, which I had placed on a flat surface. Tipping the canvas gently helps to make the colours start to mingle.
Next I placed strips of crumpled cling film (kitchen wrap) over the painted surface and squashed them down with my fingers. When the paint was almost dry I carefully lifted these off.
Once completely dry I added a thin wash of ultramarine over most of the painting, followed by a wash of red over the main shadow area. I also wiped out highlights as I went with a damp paper towel and reintroduced other 'lost' light areas by painting them in again with Gesso.
Stage Three: This stage involves several hours work over a couple of days. I add the paint in thin glazes with the occasional addition of small areas of opaque paint. I begin with the shadows to tone them down a little and I experiment with several colours to the window area and the figure. My aim is to create the scene without getting into too much realistic detail.
I continue to add colour to her skin and deepen the shadows on her body, all in thin layers of colour. I try to work on several parts at once in order to keep the balance right between the brightly lit window side and the deeply shadowed area.
I make frequent stops to look at the painting from a distance and in the mirror, and at last decide that it is finished!
May 6, 2006
Canvas size: 100 x 80 cms
Naples Yellow Hue
Light Red Oxide
1 1/2", ! ", 5/8 " Synthetic bristle (medium soft)
Clear Acrylic Painting Medium, Gloss Acrylic Medium & Varnish
I began by drawing the subject in brown pastel pencil and then go over the outline drawing with red oxide acrylic [next time I will use less pigment for this as I subsequently found the outlines rather difficult to get rid of]
I blocked in shadow shapes on the figures with red oxide and washed in some of the shadows/reflections in the sea and sand. My aim was to establish the tonal values of the painting from the outset.
I started filling in the background and foreground in fairly large blocks of colour ........ no details yet. At this stage I was experimenting with different mixes and hues. I wanted to get the feeling of a very hot, bright day.
I decided early on that I would lower the horizon to increase the sense of distance. Because it is a large canvas I took frequent breaks and looked at the painting in the mirror from about 12 feet away. It would be all too easy to get involved in unnecessary detail .... I kept having to remind myself that I wanted this painting to 'come together' only when seen from a distance!
Although it would be nice to get the background colours right before moving on to the figures I was not too worried as I knew I could easily change things later.
I started working on the figures with very light washes.
I realised that I was not very happy with the sky and sea at this stage so I went over them again, changing the colour mixes slightly.
I put some of the sky colour into the middle and foreground ... to give the effect of sky reflections on wet sand.
At this point I started to put shadow detail on to the figures in dark red, blue-green and red-brown. I kept the shadow shapes very simplified with little softening or blending of edges - See photo of detail below.
I kept the paint thinned down and semi-transparent using painting medium to dilute the pigment.
At all stages I kept a watchful eye on progress by checking in the mirror. In this way I was able to determine if the effect was what I wanted when viewed from a distance.
[Photo detail of shadow shapes.]
The final stage involved adding more body colour and glazes to various parts of the painting until I felt satisfied with the overall effect. I reach a point where I feel that I can usefully do no more.