Category Archives: Work In Progress

Instructed and Inspired by My Medium

No1 and No2 - both in progress

Still plodding along with the still life.  When I used the wrong mixture for glazing and had to set aside the oil version (on the right) back in August, I expected that it wouldn’t be dry enough to paint the next layer until Christmas.  But it surprised me, and it appears that only a couple months was necessary.  In the meantime, I started on the acrylic version of the same still life (on the left) and it has been going well… mostly.  I’ve experienced some frustrations with the paint drying too fast on the canvas.  (That’s situational irony, right?  My 9th grade English teacher really tried, but I’ve always been a little unclear on that.)

So it wasn’t the subject matter that drove me to give up temporarily on the first canvas, it was the medium.  And while working on the second canvas, the medium is making me itch to go back to work on the first canvas.  I’m learning a lot, and relearning some too, about my mediums.  (Or media, if you prefer–both plurals are correct in an art context; I checked.)  That was pretty much the goal of this project–to learn the properties and possibilities of my materials.

So, even though I’m not finished with either version, I’m already thinking about Still Life with Hydrangea No. 3. I’ve got a whole room full of art supplies.  I could do watercolor next.  Or gouache.  Or ink.  Or watercolor over ink.  Or pastels.  Or charcoal.  Or colored pencil.  Maybe Crayola crayons will suit my mood?

OH, HOLD THE PHONE!  I just recalled that single sheet of art paper that I bought on clearance this summer.  (Only 15¢–I’ll never get out of an art supply store that cheaply again.)  That paper is a rich muted red and that would be the perfect support for a pastel painting of that still life!  I think it maybe the time is approaching to try out that box of pastels.

Advertisements

Going over to The Dark Side

StillLifeWithHydrangea2-underpainting-SMALL

I’ve got a fair amount finished on the underpainting of the second version of my still life.  It’s feeling very dark.  Rembrandt dark.  That was the plan though; keeping the rest of the painting dark and softened in detail, so the central focal point of light effects on the small pitcher will “pop.”  But I’m used to using all the vibrant colors that acrylics are known for.  This is new territory for me.

Yesterday I was working on the wood grain of the table that the objects are sitting on.  I was using the finest of brushes with very few hairs and highly thinned paint mixed with gesso.  It was tedious, but I think it’s working.  The paint was so thin, it might as well have been watercolors; and the canvas was so absorbent with eight layers of gesso, it might as well have been paper.  Quite a mixture of techniques will go into this one.

I discovered it’s really difficult to not keep painting those super-fine lines over and over in the same spot when I intend to paint new lines next to the previous ones.  It seemed to be the same problem I’ve had with target shooting, so I employed the same principles to correct my “aim.”  (Dad would be proud.)