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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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Keep Painting

Guatemalan Family, acrylic and watercolor,  20" X 28" image

Guatemalan Family
fluid acrylic and watercolor
20" X 28" image
28" X 35" brushed golden frame
Frequently when working in watermedia the paint has a mind of its own.  It runs around the paper doing all kinds of things you haven't planned.  Normally this is just what watermedia artists love in the finished work because the appearance is something you can't achieve with other media.  However, other times the paint does things that seem overwhelming.  This blog describes such an accident that would have made me stop the painting when I first started to use watercolor.

The slideshow below shows a portion of a recent painting of a Guatemalan Family where the fluid acrylic yellow ochre background ran across the woman's wrist and across the waist of the standing woman.  The acrylic dried so quickly I was only able to wash it off the standing woman's waist, but not off the wrist.   The acrylic had absorbed into the cold press watercolor paper within s few seconds.   I feared I had a disaster on my hands. 

Since I had just started the painting I considered stopping and starting over, then thought I might as well keep painting and see what happens. 

At the time of the first photograph in the slideshow I had put a pale flesh colored wash over her face and her arm to see whether it had any affect on the yellow ochre acrylic run across her wrist.   You can see the run was still very obvious.

I decided to let the paper dry thoroughly and then continue to paint the woman's dark skin tones and clothing to see whether it covered the acrylic run.  All of this was done in transparent watercolor since that was my desired medium for the figures in the painting.

To my surprise, the transparent watercolor had covered most of the run.  It is only obvious on the right edge of the wrist.  See the second painting in the slideshow.

I knew the skirt of the standing woman would be dark blue, so I kept painting.  At the time of the third photograph only the light part of the skirt was complete, but the blouse of the standing woman was done.  The faint run of acrylic at the waist of that figure can no longer be seen.

In the last photograph, the dark skirt is complete and the yellow ochre acrylic is no longer obvious.

Its essential not to panic and try to scrub out the paint or paint back in too quickly.  The result will be to damage the paper and then the eye will be drawn to the damaged paper and an overworked spot will always standout.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Combining Fluid Acrylic and Watercolor

Marbled Orb Weaver
Fluid Acrylic and Watercolor
16" X 20" image
24" X 27" brushed silver frame with white mat

After taking a fluid acrylic workshop from Nicholas Simmons I decided I finally had the tools at my disposal to paint "Marbled Orb Weaver". I had photographed this little spider a few years ago when he decided to hang from the side of my garage. I had been waiting for a technique that would allow me to paint her accentuating the marbling on her thorax while maintaining her glow. I wanted the background to be marbled as well, so she appeared comfortable in her surroundings. Fluid acrylics in combination with a "paint and remove" technique that Nicholas had shown us did the trick.

After experimenting with approaches to create the linear marbling for the background on scrap paper I decided I was ready to give it a try.

The marbling and all hard lined edge work was done in fluid acrylic. I started with the spider to make sure I could achieve the look that I wanted. Once satisfied with the marbled edges, I covered the spider with masking tape and worked on the background. I had used masking fluid earlier to paint the web so that paper would remain white.    

I chose a complementary color for the background compared to the vibrant orange and yellow of the spider. In addition to the "paint and remove" technique I used very runny paint so I could get great drips throughout the background. Once the marbling looked right, I used a very thin wash of fluid acrylic and opaque watercolor to add soft blue and lavendar tones to the background.

I chose fluid acrylic for most of the background since I knew once I removed the masking tape I may need to adjust the marbling on the spider and I didn't want to wash off the background.

A very wet into wet watercolor wash was used to add the spider's bright orange and golden coloring. Using watercolor for this step allowed the spider to glow in a way that I don't think I would have achieved with acrylic alone. After adding a few detailed darks and touching up the web, Marbled Orb Weaver was ready for prime time. This slideshow shows the major stages of the painting.

The following slideshow depicts the major steps described.

Some of my other paintings that use the technique of combining fluid acrylic and watercolor can be seen in these other blog entries.

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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