Copyright April M Rimpo

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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

My Experience with Watercolor Canvas Panels



All Tied Up
Watercolor on Watercolor Canvas Board
16" X 20"

(A 1952 International Harvester Pickup Truck 
Entwined by Nature)

Every time I decide to try a new material, whether a new paint or a new platform to paint on, there is a time of adjustment when you are searching for techniques that work for the new materials. For the last week and a half I've been painting with watercolor paint on a Fredrix®  Watercolor Canvas Panel.  I've used watercolor canvas (not mounted on a panel) before and liked it when painting with fluid acrylic.  I found I could work pretty much in the same manner as when painting on watercolor paper.  Unlike painting on traditional canvas, watercolor canvas is smoother and doesn't require you to apply an initial coat of paint to fill in the texture of the canvas.

I expected the watercolor canvas board to demonstrate the same smoothness but found it had a little bit more tooth or texture.  It was also more slippery, so when using dilute watercolor (i.e., pigment with a lot of water mixed in) it tended to remove the earlier layers of paint no matter how soft the brush and how lightly I pressed on the surface. I had to switch to using thicker applications of watercolor paint with very little water added to the paint. I could layer the thicker paint, using a light touch, and blend the new paint in with the earlier layers. Glazing thin washes didn't work.

As a watercolor artist that is used to applying thin glazes and gradually shifting to paints that have less water, I found it a bit uncomfortable using paint at a buttery consistency for most of the painting.  It felt much more like painting with oil paints, which I haven't done in 20+ years. I had to remember how to blend oil paints and use techniques much more like that. I reviewed information on https://fredrixartistcanvas.com and found out there is a lot of sizing on the canvas and if you wet and rub the canvas before starting to paint the "slipperiness" of the canvas is much reduced.  Of course it was too late to do that. Another tip was to apply and blend paint with the edge of the brush rather than the tip of the brush. I considered pulling out my fan brush for blending, but never did. 

"Scumbling" lighter color paint over darker passages, allowing the darker color to peek through the lighter passage became important for adding highlights; not something you do with watercolor since it is so transparent that you have to preserve light areas and not apply them at the end. 

The completed work is not transparent watercolor, so to make this painting come to life my focus was on color, light, and dark.

Comment to let me know if this painting brings back memories for you.   

Interested in April's artwork or taking one of her classes? Consider becoming a Studio Friend by signing up for her twice-monthly email. April segments her newsletter so you can select topics you'd like to hear about when you sign up. For those who Select the General Interest topic you will receive emails about twice-monthly. If you are only interested in classes, then the emails will be much less frequent discussing upcoming classes and how to register. Select as many topics as sound of interest. Thank you for your support of April M Rimpo Art.

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Weather Held Out for the Plein Air Event

Just Past Dawn, fluid acrylic on 9"x12" canvas board
by April M Rimpo
Once a year the Columbia Art Center holds a Plein Air Event (paint out) in the Fall.  I love that this event is NOT in the middle of the summer like so many others. I dislike the heat of summer, so I don't consider participating in those events.  We had a tiny sprinkle of rain, but not enough to slow us down.  

Although I arrived thinking I would only do one painting then go home, I did bring a second surface in case I caught the bug and had to do another. I painted this year at Lake Kittimaqundi. The first was fluid acrylic on canvas board. I started it shortly after sunrise and was successful at keeping in mind how it looked at that moment even as the sky, water, and reflections continued to change while I painted.

When I did a plein air painting on Wilde Lake in 2017 I kept falling in love with every change of the reflections in the water and was unsuccessful in sticking to my plan.  I was still happy with the result, but it took much longer to finish that painting since I kept changing it.  You can change the water and not change other aspects of the painting since the sky affects the water reflections, so there is a big ripple effect each time you change the plan.

I scoped out where I wanted to paint a couple days before the event.  It was a gorgeous sunny day and I arrived at noon.  The light was quite different from the day of the event where we started with some blue sky in the east but gradually clouded over to a variety of gray clouds as the day progressed.  Because of the difference in time of day and light, the place I wanted to paint looked quite different, but the view across the lake was wonderful.


By the Foot Bridge, 8"x8" watercolor & fluid acrylic
 on Aquabord by April M Rimpo
The second spot I scoped out for a painting was just to the right of where I stood for the morning painting. All I did was pivot to my right and do the second painting.  It was a fantastic spot. 

For the first hour or so I was alone in that area, with the exception of a few walkers and runners who were enjoying the walking trail. I heard a few people talking who noticed me and recalled the plein air event was that day, but no one came over and talked to me.  Although I enjoyed chatting while painting in 2017, that morning had me so drawn into painting that I was glad to be left in peace to paint.

A couple other artists arrived later but they too were busy creating. It was a fantastic day to be outside, granted with a few extra layers of clothes since mid-October can be cool.  I surprised myself and really considered going out to paint again on Sunday when the day started out with bright sun.  It did turn to rain so I was glad I had not ventured out, but I definitely understand why so many artists do love painting outdoors rather than in the studio. 


Interested in April's artwork or taking one of her classes? Consider becoming a Studio Friend by signing up for her twice-monthly email. April segments her newsletter so you can select topics you'd like to hear about when you sign up. For those who Select the General Interest topic you will receive emails about twice-monthly. If you are only interested in classes, then the emails will be much less frequent discussing upcoming classes and how to register. Select as many topics as sound of interest. Thank you for your support of April M Rimpo Art.


Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

"Protectors" 24" X 12" Watercolor

Protectors Watercolor 24" X 12"
by April M Rimpo
Not far from Buckingham Palace in London, we saw these two on horseback. I assume they were part of the palace guards. It was after the celebration of the Queen's birthday, so it could have been some of those riding in the parade. This was the calm after the parade that contained lots of regalia. It must be the humidity in the air that made all the flowers and trees feel fresh and soft. It was a lovely place.

Interested in April's artwork or taking one of her classes? Consider becoming a Studio Friend by signing up for her twice-monthly email. April segments her newsletter so you can select topics you'd like to hear about when you sign up. For those who Select the General Interest topic you will receive emails about twice-monthly. If you are only interested in classes, then the emails will be much less frequent discussing upcoming classes and how to register. Select as many topics as sound of interest. Thank you for your support of April M Rimpo Art.

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

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