Monday, August 2, 2010

Steps of a Painting: Part 1

I thought I would document the steps I take when creating a painting.

This particular series has an unusual genesis, in that I envisioned my direction right from the beginning, and I pictured the colors right from the beginning. I tend to be one of those "throw a bunch of stuff at the painting and see what happens" type of painters, but with the last few series I've made, I knew exactly where I wanted to go before I began.

I knew from the start that I wanted to continue with the steps I used to make the painting to the left ("Desert 3," acrylic on canvas, 44" H x 30" W), which is the last one I made. But this time, I wanted to use ice cream types of colors like vanilla, pistachio, strawberry and black raspberry. Perhaps this is influenced by my recent dieting habits, which have involved cutting out sugar! A craving coming out in paint form, perhaps?! ;-) Maybe an expression of the season, or maybe nothing that complex.

In painting terms, this means variations of turquoise, alizarin crimson, quinacridone violet, nickel azo yellow (Golden's fluid acrylics), and of course white.

So here are the first layers. I toned 2 canvases (50" x 30") in a combination of white and red (I use Blickrylic acrylics for the toning layer for reasons of economy. (The half-gallon containers are comparatively inexpensive.) When the surfaces had dried, I applied rows of watered-down (but still dark) turquoise and quinacridone violet in varying placements and widths.

By the way, I like to work on several paintings at once. This way, no one piece ever gets overworked, and I can practice slight variations and see how they look at the same time. I also tend to create triptychs these days, frankly for reasons of sales (groupings tend to be easier and more lucrative for the art consultants I work with to sell). Plus you can TRIPLE YOUR PAINTING FUN this way, without much additional elbow grease! (It only takes a few minutes more to stretch 2 or 3 canvases at a time than to stretch 1.)

Once this set of colors has dried, it will be time to apply the next layer, this time tinted versions of the colors I've just laid down.

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