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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"The Dugouts" - First steps

The Dugout - Work in progress by April M. Rimpo
A beautiful beach at Santa Catarina Palopo, Guatemala was the inspiration for this painting. This was the first time I’d seen the dugouts used by the Guatemalan men to fish on Lake Atitlan.  Although much of the paint had faded and flaked from the hulls of these handmade boats, there was enough remaining to show the rainbow of their previous colors.  In the distance some modern boats were visible, which will allow me to emphasize the difference between modern influences caused by tourism and the indigenous traditions of the local population.

Although this painting will be primarily watercolor, I felt fluid acylic would be helpful to achieve the look of the flaked paint on the boats. The acrylic is painted very wet and when partially dry (a hairdryer can be used to speed up and control the drying process) you use a spray bottle of water to remove the paint that is still wet.  The dry acrylic that is left on the paper has rough edges.  I first learned this technique form Nicholas Simmons to paint foliage since it leaves a random texture in the plants and leaves; I felt the same texture would work here.  This was done on the 2nd and 3rd boats from the front.  The 3rd boat shows the result of the acrylic. Once dry I used watercolor to add the other colors of faded wood and darker shadowed areas,  This is shown on the 2nd boat from the front.  

Stay tuned for future posts where I'll discuss other techniques used in this painting.


  1. That blue boat in the foreground looks awesome! This is going to be an incredible piece!


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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