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Monday, 23 February 2015

New Acrylic - Cliff Path to Blackgang

I had a bit of trouble with this one, but was fairly happy with the way it came round in the end - my sketch was inadequate; I hadn't given myself enough information to work from, and the forms were all wrong.... however, those mistakes are buried now, I hope; and they did at least form a good basis for the subsequent layers.

This can be the snag if you can't, for whatever reason, work on the spot - can't in my case because I'm too knackered, to be entirely honest about it.  Make a sketch, but also take enough photos to fill in the gaps your sketch might leave.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Glazing and Scumbling

Two terms that sometimes cause confusion - and techniques that can save a painting from being dull.

Glazing - a term more usually applied to oil and acrylic painting, but sometimes to watercolour, in which case it would more normally be called a wash, is the application of a transparent colour over a (usually) lighter one.   So, you might turn a bright yellow into an optical orange, just by glazing a transparent red over it.  This will give you - in general - a rather livelier, more luminous orange than if you'd mixed red and yellow together.

In fact, most colours are more or less transparent, depending on the amount of water or medium you mix with them: so you can glaze even with an opaque colour like Cadmium Red - but you'll need to keep the paint to the minimum intensity necessary, and thin it down with medium.  (Most manufacturers supply glazing mediums, in both oil and acrylic - Liquin is a popular one for use with oil paint, and Daler Rowney produce a good glazing medium for acrylic.   Applying a lighter watercolour wash over a darker one will NOT work in the same way, or probably at all.)

Glazing also works if you add a transparent coat over a dark one - say, Raw Sienna over deep green, or mixes of red and green to give a "painter's black" (ie, a very dark tone, but one in which the use of actual black pigment has been avoided).  This will enrich the paint surface, make it more interesting and subtle, and counteract the sometimes dead look that very dark paint can give.

Scumbling is different - it generally means the application of dry-brush (ie, there's very little moisture, whether oil or water, in the paint) over a flat, darker colour - in this case, the added colour is usually scrubbed on over the darker paint beneath.   Again, the bottom layer doesn't have to be darker at all - the point is that you can see it through the added brushwork, and this adds depth.

Traditional oil painting techniques would have been all but impossible without glazing - it was a long process, especially since there could have been as many as 20 layers of glaze: and the paint over which they were applied had to be dry - otherwise, the paint would just mix.  Acrylic paint makes this process much easier - in fact, acrylics are ideally suited to a glazing technique.  Scumbled paint also needs to be applied on a dry layer, but adding multiple scumbles is rarely very satisfactory - at least over a fairly small area.

Trying one or both techniques in a painting can liven up and enrich an otherwise boring,   featureless stretch, if dynamic brushwork alone won't do it.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Painting demonstration on Painters Online Bonus Features

http://www.painters-online.co.uk/Information/bonus-features-february-2015#Robert

May be of interest - a step by step demonstration, from photograph to drawing to painting in several stages of one of my acrylics, painted with Chromacolour colours.

Friday, 6 February 2015

New paintings

Posted elsewhere, but maximum exposure doesn't seem to do One Direction any harm, so why shouldn't I indulge.....


The top one is another version of my last Up the Hill acrylic, but this time done in a different format, and painted in watercolour.  The second is a composite picture - based on a lane in the village where I was born, and also on the old road linking Niton to Blackgang on the Isle of Wight.  Well, it used to, before the cliff fell on it, anyway.  


While I'm at it - I took a photograph of my Dream House painting that didn't come out at all as planned: I was going to bin it, but actually it looks rather interesting, I think: I'm not sure you'd know it was a photograph of a painting at all: so have a look at the image below and see what you think...

If I'd been TRYING to capture this effect, I would most certainly have failed - I don't quite know how it happened - using a Vivitar digital camera with low battery power might be the reason.  And it looks as though it needed the flash, which wasn't turned on.   Bet I couldn't do this again, anyway.  

Monday, 2 February 2015

Over the Hill and Far Away

A new acrylic - I have another one on the easel at the moment, and when I've finished that (delayed by not feeling all that well just at the mo') I shall try something different - change of medium, at least.

This one is 12" by 16".