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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The making of "By the Stream", a 24" X 72" fluid acrylic on gallery wrapped paper

By the Stream by April M Rimpo
I love the colors of fall, so By the Stream, provided an opportunity to explore these colors.  Being a large painting it took a while to complete.  I found that I kept examining the leaves near my home every time I left the house.  As I drove around the area I enjoyed the little flecks of color that stood out in from on darker trees.  Each time I resumed work on this painting I brought that new knowledge with me.  

By the Stream
Fluid Acrylic on Varnished, Gallery Wrapped Paper*
24" X 72"

By the Stream started as a poured painting.  This was the quickest approach to get some base color over the entire surface of the painting. You can see there was some masking fluid on the paper to preserve some white areas. After the paint dried over night, more masking fluid was added to save the sky, some of the light colors in the trees, and reflective spots in the water.

The next day I sprayed the paper with water then applied paint using a very large brush. Because the surface of the paper was quite wet, I tilted the paper to let the color intermingle, much like using a pouring technique. This started to define the water and structure of the landscape.

The image at left shows the result after one more painting session and removal of the masking fluid. As you can see, there is a lot of work to do to integrate the light areas where the mask was and make a cohesive painting.

In the image at right I've worked on some trees on the left and reflections in the stream. Here I was able to test out an approach for finishing the painting. While looking at this photo I realized I needed more light blue reflections on the right side of the stream to clarify the transition from the stream to the bank. 

The detail at left shows distant trees added to the light sky areas. I've hinted at bushes at the base of the trees and used greens as well as browns to indicate the depth of the woods. I am happy with these results, so I continued with the rest of the painting using the techniques used here. There is a great deal of push and pull between light and dark areas and between warm and cool colors creating a rhythm to the painting.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the painting.  Also feel free to ask for more specifics about my process.


  1. Beautiful painting. I like the light in the distance showing through the trees.
    Thoughts...more branch detail. Note, I'm a branch fanatic.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I'm always torn regarding the amount of little details and the level of abstraction. I'll take another look with your comment in mind.


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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