Sunday, August 13, 2017

Mixed Methods of Paint Application

My latest painting was a bit of an experimentation on a couple fronts.  First, I was doing the same thing I've done with almost every painting lately, and that is pursuing the abstraction of the subject while maintaining representation.  In same ways I think this painting was a gentle nudge in that direction but in other ways possibly a bit of a pull back.

Click on image to enlarge

"Into Autumn"

12" X 9", Acrylic on panel
Original - $120
Prints Available

The other experimental part to this painting has to do with the title of this blog post.  As you can see this painting has the texture of a palette knife painting, except I didn't use just palette knives to paint this autumn landscape.  First I toned the panel using quinacridone burnt orange, a misting of water and a paper towel.  After outlining the basic composition with a brush I massed in the painting using brushes, but starting with paint mixed with glazing medium so it went on transparently.  After a few layers I started using more opaque paint until the painting was more or less blocked in, but at the same time it wasn't my intention to totally cover the surface, I like to see bits of that quinacridone poking through here and there also I didn't want the paint to get too finished before the next step.  Next I got out the palette knives, however I didn't put the brushes totally aside yet.  I kept one old medium size bristle brush out and used it to modify some of the palette knife strokes, in fact in some cases I applied a small pile of paint with the knife for the express purpose of hitting it with the bristle brush after.  I didn't want to go crazy with this effect so I only did it a few times and then finished the painting up completely using knives.  Here are a couple close up crops showing the texture, layers and the effects of using different application techniques.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge
I did have a reference photo for this painting, taken somewhere in Ogden Valley, Utah I believe and it was taken during autumn but it was early in the season so had more green than I wanted and I also took some artistic liberties with the composition and shapes.  I didn't want to focus on the photo too much anyway, hard to paint abstractly while looking at a photograph.  Notice I only hinted at the grass, in the photo the area to the right of the road had lots of tall grass and it's always tempting to put that in for me because I love the texture of grass, so minimizing that, only suggesting it I think helped to keep this landscape abstract.

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