Sunday, November 29, 2015

Plein-aire after the fact....

The top painting was as done "on the spot" in Hycroft gardens. The bottom is the same painting after setting it aside and coming back to it in the studio. I darkened the darks and made the colour richer, made the light behind the arbour even lighter and enriched the colours of the hydrangeas. I think it all results in a more appealing painting.  With acrylics, even after much experience and awareness, it is  sometimes a bit of a challenge to get the lights light enough as acrylic does darken on drying. I also think it makes a difference when the painting is viewed indoors, out of the bright natural light- it seems easier then to judge the tonal values. I've been going over - and I hope, improving, a few other paintings done this summer. One or two I was ready to trash until I sat down with them again. Second thoughts are sometimes good ones!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Trying something new

On the theory that not much is going to happen to any of them, I like to try different things on our Friday "Long Pose" days. We are a smaller group than Wednesday evenings - so there is more room. For this pose with Amanda, I first drew her in charcoal on watercolour paper. Then I did a wash of red acrylic paint and used a dryer to get it dry. This is where more space helped as I moved from where I was drawing to a table to use a blow dryer. Then I painted over everything with acrylic ground for pastels - using a foam brush, not a good painting brush as it is fairly gritty. Then back to the blow dryer. Then I worked with regular pastels but I found it easier to keep it loose. This was partly because of the way I had started fairly quickly to draw in the pose and the wash of paint gave it all a rougher look. Even the way the "ground"accepted the pastels was a bit different. I quite like the results but I have no major plans for it. As a pastel, it would have to be framed and glassed and it is a full sheet of watercolour paper  so that would be fairly expensive. I will probably show it at next year's DoorsOpen - but I think it is just going into the cupboard in the meantime. Wednesday night's long pose will just be on pastel paper as I won't be able to have the room for this - but I definitely intend to try this somewhat "mixed media" approach again. I haven't tried this before and haven't seen it done in actuality - but I did see this method on a website so I got the acrylic ground for pastels - which I hadn't know existed- and gave it a go.