Monday, December 24, 2007
Valley with Cows, and Details.
This painting is the finished piece which I posted as a work in progress several days back. The painting is fairly large, 22" x 28", and I'm pretty happy with the results. Getting used to the acrylics by painting and painting and painting.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I've been working with the acrylics now for about a week and a half, and doing as much practice and research as I can. The above are several winter paintings I've finished with the Interactives this week. Blending is the hardest thing to adjust to with the acrylics, and I've found some really good information on techniques on Wet Canvas. Now www.wetcanvas.com is huge, enormous. And I've gone there a couple of times without any luck (high levels of confusion and frustation), but somehow I stumbled on a good resource this time around. It's the Information Kiosk under Acrylics, and inside the Kiosk is a nice list of "classrooms" that you can visit and read. All different topics. Here's the link to the Kiosk: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=329 I think it'll work. From there you can pick a class to visit. The one on blending techniques helped me enormously. Also the one on glazing.
Today I mixed "slow" which is a medium for slowing down the drying time of the paints, and also some Gel Pumice (it was a Golden sample I had gotten at an art store and saved), and the combination gave me extended time and some extra heft and tooth to the paint. I used my water sprayer some but not as much, mostly to spray the palette, not the painting. And I scrubbed when I wanted blending with a damp, clean, bristle brush and found the blending easier to manage.
For the small branches and trees I used some "Liquifier," another Chroma product for their Interactive line, and that not only thinned the paint, but it (somehow) kept it from turning transparent (as you'd expect.) I was able to get thin, solid lines with a rigger brush to add branches to the trees (bottom two paintings.)
And there's my update for the Interactives. I'm starting to get the hang of it. You really do have to stay with it, and get past the frustration at the beginning. Working WITH the paint is the trickiest part, but the mediums really help you out.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
This one in a larger canvas, 22" x 28", and the second photo is a detail. I wanted to practice larger work, in preparation for a wall mural that I'll be working on in January. I think that once I have some of the technique figured out, I'm going to really like these paints. I have to undo the habit from oils of holding a paper towel in my left hand, for wiping my brush, and replace it with a spray bottle of water. As long as you keep spraying, you can keep blending. I'll work more on the sky on this one, to see what I can learn about manipulating the paint. But I was pretty happy working with these today (now that I am figuring out about the water spray.) I still need to figure out brushes, since the bristle brushes I'm using from oil work (my old ratty ones) get thick and gunky pretty quick, and I have to work to get them clean in the water.
More as I learn it.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Winter scene with detail. Acrylic on cardboard coated with Gesso. I added a whole bunch of "Slow" medium to my colors (about ten drops to each 1/2" squeeze) , which made them able to rewet with the water sprayer. This gave me a lot more control. The mountains blended a little, but I hadn't sprayed them as I went. The sky blended better, with spraying right on the board. There is a yellow undercoat on the sky, which I let show through in spots, then added more white to the clouds. It worked nice for subtleties. The treetops are fan brush with somewhat dry paint.
We're getting there!
Chroma Atelier Interactive Acrylics.
I have been shopping for acrylics, in anticipation of a mural I will be working on ( on four walls) in January, and decided to try the Interactives. These acrylics are advertised as being the most like watercolors, used very thin, and oils, very blendable. It sounded like the best of both worlds. So I got them yesterday, and after finishing and posting my painting for today AND cleaning my brushes, I got them out to play. The colors are strong and clean. The color chart was done on really poor watercolor paper, and I will try them on some decent paper, but I think they'll be fairly like watercolors. On this paper, thinned with a lot of water, they acted like watercolor, but lost their strength. Used more thickly, they felt a little "slimey" to me. I'll let you know what I think with better paper. I tried some wet on wet, and the colors will run together, but since it's a different medium, it really won't act exactly like watercolor.
On to a painting, using them like oils.
There are a lot of different mediums to use with this paint. The full line can be found on the web site, here: http://www.chromaonline.com/chroma/
I think once I play with them, and figure out what they do, I'll be able to do some blending. I could only blend when the paints were truly fresh, and was shy about using too much of any of the mediums. I did pop a little of the "Slow" into my blue mixes for the water, and that helped, but I probably didn't add enough, because I found it tricky. The painting is below.
I'm excited about the new paint, and have enjoyed it so far. Taking into account that this is my first play time with them, I am pleased with the results. I'll keep you posted.
This is the painting as I leave it tonight. I want to see tomorrow if the color will still soften after drying overnight. I'm still getting used to how the color piles on the palette act, and how long I can use them before they get dried out. What the mister will do. And whether I dare mist right on the painting. When I broke for dinner, the piles on the palette skinned up. My mixing areas would reconstitute somewhat, but there were little bits of dried color skin in them then. I could still peel the skin off the piles and use the color underneath. This paint is great (so far) for:
layering, scumbling, fresh clean color areas (no cross contamination), easy clean up, glazes
Hopefully, I can tell you more tomorrow.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Autumn Serene, Oil on Canvas board, 12" x 16", from my own photos, for sale on my painting blog, Nel's Everyday Painting (see side bar.)
Friday, September 21, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I sketch out in pencil the basic shapes in the painting. Over this I spray workable fixative. Usually you would tone the canvas once the fixative is dry, but here I just didn't. I block in my darks, and then start carefully mixing my critical colors: the road colors. I paint of bit of my test color on a piece of scrap paper, and hold it right up to the photo. Then I talk to myself, warmer, lighter, more pink, more orange, more purple...til I get it right. The actual colors in the foliage don't matter quite so much, so long as you get the basic values right, but with the road and it's shadows, I want to come as close as I can.
I hope that you enjoy the following posts. The two finished paintings are posted today on my painting blog, Nel's Everyday Painting. The link is listed in the sidebar. Thanks for looking.
Road light colors and starting to blend them together. Also here I am doing some finish work on the background greyed area. I want it dark, but also light enough and "blued" enough to show distance. I also want to suggest a warm light back there on the tree tops with some citron color. Theres a lot of blending and then repainting, working it back and forth.
Using a rigger brush, I put in the treetops of the birches, then daub some of the road color into the lines, just lightly. This is done right on the dry canvas (actually it should have been toned first, but...) Over the sky the lines would have lost their thin darkness. This way I can go back in and paint the sky holes right up to the colors and lines.