Showing posts with label demonstration - acrylic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label demonstration - acrylic. Show all posts

27 Mar 2013

Old into new --- Take 3, Roughly Sketched In

Old into new ..... take 2

A coat of white gesso rollered over the whole painting gives a nice surface to work on, bumps and all!  

Detail from above showing texture

New from old Experiment .... Phase One

Don't know about you but I sometimes get to a point with a painting when I really don't like it at whatever stage its reached at the time, and I know deep down that I am never EVER going to like it whatever I do! 

Well I got to that stage recently with an acrylic of mine and today I decided to let it "morph" into something else. Of course, it is not going to do anything without a little help from me so this morning I got it started on its journey to find it's different self.

First step is done ............ a coating of binder medium, followed by a lovely squishy session of pressing crumpled tissue paper on to the wet surface. Once it is all nicely dry the next job will be to apply a base coat. Don't know yet what that will be ....... paint, gesso or a mix of the two. Will have a think.

16 Aug 2006

.... just about finished

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!

'Shadow Dance' (2006)
Acrylic on canvas 30 x 15 ins

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6 May 2006

How did I paint that? - a demonstration using acrylic


Canvas size: 100 x 80 cms

Titanium white
Naples Yellow Hue
Yellow Oxide
Jaune Brilliant
Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna
Light Red Oxide
Pthalo Blue
Cobalt Blue

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.

Enough is enough, already!

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