Monday, April 19

Using the Old Master's Palette on My New Acrylic

My Re-Worked Early Spring Road
Hi –

Following up on my last blog where I talked about having to re-work my little acrylic, Early Spring Road, based on some criticism from other artists. I was complaining just a little, but they were absolutely correct—it needed fixing.

So, I fixed it, and it’s today’s image. As I said, I re-painted the sign posts to be the right height relative to each other. I also raised the ground level under the yellow sign, which was true to the landscape. I put the bridge in the right place, and finally I added a cobalt wash over the far distant field and horizon to make it recede. Now I think it’s finished, but I’ll have to see if it gets more criticism.

The other painting I’m working on is an acrylic I’m calling Sun-face, at least while I’m working on it. I previously showed you the reference photo a few blogs ago, and my work-in-progress in the last blog.

What I want to tell you is how I started on it.

I talked about the importance of correct drawing as a good foundation for your painting. That—improper drawing--was part of my problem in Early Spring Road. I didn’t want a repeat problem (or to hear more criticism) on Sun-face, so I decided to carefully transfer the image to the canvas (it’s 16 x 20 in, 41 x 51 cm).

I did this by enlarging my reference photo using Adobe Photoshop Elements. I divided the image into four, enlarged and printed out the pages, and taped them together so that the reference photo is now the actual size of the canvas. Then I used graphite paper between the reference photo and canvas to transfer the image by drawing lines wherever there is a change in value.

And there are a lot of lines where the values change in this image. You probably can't tell from the small size of the digital reference photo, but the background is an uneven wood grain texture full of greeny-black shadows, and that's a very important part of this painting.

It was suggested to me by the artists mentioned above that I use the Old Master’s palette for this painting. What the heck, they’re almost always right.

So, out of my acrylic paint drawer I pulled Burnt Sienna (the red), Raw Sienna (the yellow), Paynes Gray (the blue), Olive Green, and, of course, Titanium White. I was amazed that I could get almost exactly the colors I needed from those. I did have to add, however, Cadmium Yellow Medium and Brown Madder for some to the reddish-orangish-slightly pinkish colors for the clay on Sun-face. I don’t know yet if I’ll need to add a few others.

Anyway, I’m still painting away, and I’ll show you more progress in an upcoming blog.

Until then…

No comments:

Post a Comment