Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy 2014: Work in Progress

I like to post "work in progress" photos after I know the painting will work. I have many paintings that I stop because they aren't "painting" the way I imagine them to be. These I use on the back for smaller (often successful) paintings. This painting is maybe half-finished, so the verdict is still out whether you will see it completed or not. I thought it would be good for teaching, regardless.

Artists notes:
This is painted on 140 lb cold pressed Fabriano paper stretched on a waterbord, taped with distracting quick release painter's tape (Fabriano shreds when I use masking tape) The blue of the tape influences the colors that you see when you are painting. If you are more patient than I am, you can retape over the blue tape with masking tape (onto of the painters tape, so it won't rip the paper). In this case, my visual impairment is useful (I only see what I am looking at, so I don't see the tape at close distance).

1. The four corners of the background will be different from each other in the final painting, so even in an early stage, the corners vary in color temperature, and value.
2. When I paint a dark background, I know that to "smooth it out",  I will be adding layers. This will only work well, if I confine myself to transparent colors. Transparent colors in the background give perspective to the background (it feels like you can see further back into the painting). As soon as I add an opaque color,  it will make the background chalky and impossible to add further layers, so opaque colors have to be added last. Here, I am using Daniel Smith's beautiful colors including sepia, quin burnt orange, quin burnt scarlet, quoin gold, and ivory black in various combinations.
3. To know whether a color is transparent or opaque (or semi-), some manufacturers put a square on the tube of paint: clear is transparent: black (filled in) is opaque. You can also click on the drop down when looking at a particular paint on line (under paint properties). Here, you can find out what the pigment is (the names are so beautiful but brand to brand, you can buy the same color with a new name: the pigment number will sort this out for you), the granulating properties and whether a pigment is transparent or not.

So, in further examples, I will be "smoothing out" the "scratchiness and visible brush strokes of the background. I have found that the brush type make a difference as I add layers (perhaps because I am impatient and heavy-handed in my application). However, if I use a squirrel mop brush and gently stroke (almost float) the next layer on, I have less "lift" of what is already painted.

Hope this helps. Please comment (still painful because I  have left the "prove-you-are-human blocks in the way) and let me know if you have particular questions.
Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. Love seeing works in progress especially with an explanation. Watercolors intrigue me as I am not familiar with them at all. I look forward to seeing the next stage.