Monday, June 20, 2011

Bados was NOT done. He's STILL not done!

I am trying to move on to the next painting (follow along, now!), but Bados, it turns out, is a star.  A star needs to shine alone for full effect.  That is, the hills and sky had to go (see that last stage here).

Now, you might think that's easy.  Just paint green over them and voila, right?  As it happens, not so much.  Acrylics are translucent, so it may take many layers to truly obscure something underneath.  In severe cases, such as when one has already tried to cover something with many layers, and it persists in showing through like a stain, one may have to resort to primer or gesso.  If one is smart, one will at least tint it towards the final color.  But not too much, since adding paint to the primer makes it less opaque.  How do I know this, since I never went to art school?  You might say I've been a trainee in the on-the-job training program for ... a good many years.  So, smart = lots of experience with being the other thing, that opposite of smart.*

Okay, so let's now say that one has tried the many layers, then the tinted primer, and are now on to trying to blend in the primered zone with the rest of the existing painting, most of which one is already happy with.  Another plot twist in this adventure is that acrylics do tend to shift color a bit from wet to dry, so one may think one has blended it nicely when in fact one has not, which becomes evident when it dries.

No worries. You need to do layers to get a feel to match the layers in the other part of the painting anyway, so you start layering.  Oh, do you remember how I mentioned that acrylics can also be a bit testy about overworking an area that's only partly dry?  How it makes these bald areas permanently outlined by dense areas?  Yeah.  One must keep that in mind, as well.  So that one doesn't get impatient in frustration.  As one might.  It will all work out in the end, one must keep telling one's self.  Take your time, one says.  One may reply that there is a deadline to consider, but one must again remind one's self that ruining the piece will not get one any closer to a happy deadline.

Let us leave that painting for a moment, while it dries.  Thoroughly.

Meanwhile, the next painting.  I just took this with my phone camera because it's too wet to scan.

©Xan Blackburn, 2011
Work in progress
Okay, now it has crashed photoshop.  Hang on ... Re-launching.  Re-editing for clarity.  SAVING.  Dum di dum dum ...  Okay, that's good enough for now.

So, this silken running through sunlit grass with a backdrop of dark foliage is on a 12"x16" gessoed panel.  I decided to close in on the subject for this painting, and pretty much fill the frame with the joie de vivre of the moment.  I toned the board first with some warm yellow-tinted primer.  Then transferred my drawing onto the board, washed in a few tentative beginnings of shading in the ear and face with some of the payne's gray left on my pallet from Bado's painting.  As I also had a bunch of greens on the pallet, I dove into those next.  Here you see many layers of greens already layering up, from a warm yellow to heat up the sun-lit grass, to deep Hooker's green in the foliage beyond.  It's all very monotonic at the moment, but there will be purples and even some rusty reds working into the background before we're done.

So, any guesses who this happy hound is?

While you're thinking, I will get back to Bados' background.

*If this were the only criteria for being smart, I should now be a genius!

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