Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Acrylic Painting Process

This is the beginning stages of my latest painting. It's 3 feet, 4 inches, by 6 feet !!!!

People often want to know about my painting process, and I'm happy to share that, and hope some of you will find it helpful.

The very first step is actually priming the canvas. I rarely use white gesso, so the first decision (after subject matter) is to decide what color gesso I will use. For this painting I decided on buff titanium, to underscore the warmth of the scene, which is a field of golden rod in full bloom.

Two or three coats of gesso and then a day to dry before beginning.  Next I draw in the scene. I use different things to draw, for this particular piece I used Staedtler Karat Aquaqrell Watercolor Crayon, light gray. This is generally just a line drawing for placement and contours.

Next, I do a monochromatic under painting using Old Holland green umber. That's what you see in the top photo.  Once that's dry, I give it an isolation coat, made from Golden Soft Gel Medium mixed with water. The isolation coat seals everything down and creates a nice surface to work on for the next layer.

The block in is next. This step allows me to indicate large areas of local color. The block in can be approached in a number of different ways with acrylics. For this painting I chose to glaze in the color areas using Golden High Flow acrylic paint. This allowed the brush work from the under painting to show through and that allows all the textural elements created with the large bristle brush I used to remain visible. This is very helpful in a painting with such a large foreground area.

One more isolation coat. The painting will sit over night to allow the layers to cure, and tomorrow the real painting  process begins!

1 comment:

A.Decker said...

A watercolor crayon. I gotta get me one of those.
Thanks for the process rundown. This one is looking good, but posted nearly 6 months ago. Can we see the finished piece on your website? I love countryside scenes like this.