Friday, November 21, 2014

A painting in 20 steps

Thought it might be fun to show you the stages one of my paintings goes through before I'm satisfied with it. I'm working on a 10"X 14" Arches watercolor block, hot press.
 I fill the page first by drawing a random grid and tracing leaf shapes into the sections, just to get some pattern on the image area. I fill in the negative spaces with charcoal and the positive spaces with oil pastels, the colors chosen blind.
 I go over the whole thing with a neutral color oil pastel to blend it...
 ...and scrape it with this toothed plaster tool.
 Brushing with water...
 ...and smearing more with a paper towel.
A light coat of gesso.
 More scraping and messing with the surface with a palette knife.

 Some charcoal lines, as well as scrafitto, and a wash of burnt sienna acrylic mixed with gel medium.
 Details of charcoal (trees) and yellow paint. I've sprayed the wash on the bottom with water to make the speckle pattern.
 Love what a toothbrush does to enhance the surface texture.
 Highlighted the shapes indicated in pencil with white paint.
 Added the ochre wash on the left, more color in the middle and the black house in charcoal. More color on the trees with oil pastel and the blue highlights are chalk pastel.
 More detail in charcoal and acrylic.
 Decided the painting was too segmented, without focal point so tried a different approach to middle section, adding a large figure.
 Didn't like this bird, Painted over it with white and tried again...
 Lots of scratching and highlighting with charcoal. More oil pastel details.
Painted background around bird warm yellow and added prints of leaves. Bird still looked too weak as an image... I filled in the shape with more solid color, mixing some purple with the background yellow for a neutral tone that would harmonize with the colors around it. Strong enough, but not too much.

Finished, coated with acrylic gel medium to enhance the colors and texture. Final image 7"X 13". Hope that was interesting!

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