Well, I think it’s finished, the acrylic I’ve been working on this week, that is, and Today’s Image. It took a bit more than I had anticipated to complete, but I persevered.
First I worked on the flowering shrubs on the left, which I’m sure are azaleas. As you may recall from last blog, I had already painted a diluted wash of Liquitex Heavy Body Alizarin Crimson and Van Gogh Warm Grey to cut the white of the canvas. Then I painted the base coat of the shrubs with Fundamentals Cadmium Red Light Hue, which I had found on sale at a ridiculously low price and wanted to see how it worked (fine). Then for a knockout punch I used Winsor & Newton Galeria Opera Rose for the visible azaleas. If you’re not familiar with Opera Rose, I will tell you, it’s the hottest pink I’ve seen in a paint color and the only one that comes close to the real color in nature. I researched this, and you can’t mix any combination of anything to get that color—you have to buy it.
When the shrubs were done I evaluated the canvas and decided the sky was a little too blue. So I mixed up some more of the Van Gogh Sky Blue Light and a greater proportion of Winsor & Newton Galeria Titanium White and filled in between what you can see of a horizon and the tree tops. Because the ‘new’ sky impinged on the edges of some of the leaves and branches I had to touch up those with a mixture of greens described in the last blog.
Next I added some W & N Titanium White to Liquitex Heavy Body Brilliant Yellow Green to make it more brilliant, if possible, and I added that to the very sunniest spot and for dappled shade.
The last step was to add the darkest areas for contrast in shaded areas. For this I used a mixture of Liquitex Heavy Body Green Gold and Grumbacher Payne’s Gray. This makes a realistic looking shadow (I think) for the tree bark and wall since, as we all know, shadows are not black. If you’re familiar with printing, I liken it to adding the fourth color black in the printing process to provide depth.
As I said, it took a bit more than anticipated, but I think it turned out OK. (I may touch up one more branch…)
Stimulate Your Creativity
- Take a Get-Away Weekend - if you live in the city, go to the country; if you live in a small town, go to the big city; if you live in the mountains, go to the prairie; if you live on the coast, go to the mountains; or even better, take a vacation.
- Take a Walk by Yourself - for no less than 30 minutes, did I mention alone; or better, take a walk a day.
- Watch a Movie - with either a) a rip-roaring car/vehicle chase sequence or b) a fantasy almost, but not quite, beyond belief; examples of a) are It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and RV; examples of b) are Innerspace and the remake of The Time Machine.
- Turn Off the News – Do not watch and/or listen to any local news broadcasts for at least one week (or ever again); national and world news, while not ideal, is permissible.
- Listen to Classical Music – if you already do this, great; if not, you must listen for at least 15 minutes every day for at least a week.
- Eat at the Most Ethnic Restaurant in Your Area – It really doesn’t matter which one or what kind of food it is, but it’s better if you have never eaten there before.
- Visit the Most Contemporary Arts Museum in Your Area – I hope there’s a really avant garde one nearby; if not, then visit your local high school and ask to see the students’ latest art projects.
You should attempt to do every one of these. If not, do as many as you can. Even one is better than none. You may have noticed, these were chosen to get you out of your ‘element’ whatever that may be. And all but one, visiting a contemporary arts museum, have nothing to do with art. What they do have to do with is stimulating your senses and your brain, to open up your mind to be ready and receptive to conceive of new ideas and explore creative vistas.