Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Work in Progress- Marsh Landscape

Stage 1. imprimatura

Hang onto your paints and brushes folks because in the next few days we're going to fly through a painting in progress. I'm hoping to get set up to do video clips soon, but for now it will have to be still photos. I'm working on Centurion LX stretched acrylic primed linen, 11x14in. Using Chroma Interactive Acrylics and a bunch of different kinds of brushes, though my favorites are the Vermeer series, filberts.

Begin with the Concept

This is so important but many artists don't give it much thought. But really, you have to know what you are setting out to do in order to do it and then evaluate the finished piece to see if you successfully achieved that goal. The concept also guides your choices all along the way, helping you choose one thing over another as you work through the painting.

The concept for this painting is luminosity(softly bright or radiant). The best way to establish luminiosity or light is to work with values and get them established early on and an imprimatura is a good way to do that. The light is in the distant sky and water . The pattern of light also creates a nice "s" curve.

For the imprimatura I used transparent red oxide*, Chroma Fast medium, and a cheap 1.5" bristle brush from the hardware store. The transparency of the paint allows the white of the canvas to glow through, the fast medium seals the surface and helps the paint dry very quickly so the imprimatura won't muddy up the colors that go on top and the large, the cheap ragged brush helps keep things loose and expressive. Even though I'm using fast medium I can still spray a rag or paper towel with water and "rag out" areas to bring up the lights. This is a techinque that is often used with oil paints in the imprimatura stage but the interactives allow you to use this techinque with acrylics.

*Transparent Red Oxide PR 101 ASTM lThese variations on the iron oxide manufacturing process produce a pigment particle that is exceptionally small and the color becomes semi transparent as a result. This produces a color that is more red and less orange than Burnt Sienna but has a similar degree of usefulness and beauty as the Sienna and extends the color range for this kind of pigment. Unfortunately many artist's do not try this excellent pigment because it is more expensive than the opaque oxides, and I suspect they don't realize that the transparent variety is worth trying.

Tomorrow: the block in

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