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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cycles - A Work in Progress

The Spring paintings are just about out of my system now that the weather has improved. The threatened snow, predicted earlier this week, did not happen, so all is so much better in the world. 

Instead I started on a new painting that I plan to include in the "Modes of Transportation" solo exhibit I'll have later this year. So far the drawing for Cycles is done and the first two layers of poured paint have been completed. 

Cycles Step 1: Mask and First Poured Wash
I wanted to show you photos I took after the first two pours to show how much the personality of a painting can change with color. The first image is shown at left. I wanted soft grays in this first layer with just a little tinting of lavender and orange-tan. The lavender is a result of Cobalt Blue mixing on the paper with Quinacridone Coral. The next photograph shows a closeup of the center of the painting where you can see there is a fair amount of variation in this layer, but only noticeable in the closeup image.

I succeeded in achieving a fairly neutral gray underpainting, but was worried that the finished painting would be too muted if I didn't take a much bolder step with my next pour.

I mixed a tan, orange, and Cadmium Red Light together in a cup and produced an orange I liked. That color excited me enough that I took out a different sheet of paper, thickened the liquid mixture with acrylic medium and placed some randomly on the paper. Next I took some tube acrylic Cerulean Blue added that to the paper and sprayed it with water to loosen it up a bit and let it run around.  I ended up adding some white liquid acrylic in a few areas to create some lighter areas.  I don't know what I will be doing with that full sheet, but I liked the color combinations and decided to use a much more subtle version of that for my next pour on Cycles

I slept on it and must admit each time I awoke that night I realized I was thinking about the painting. By morning I had a plan how I would use the colors I had experimented with to brighten Cycles without drowning it in so much color that I lost the first layer.  I had applied more mask to the painting to preserve linear areas in the motorcycles that needed the first lighter grays, but that didn't mean I totally wanted to obfuscate what remained of the first pour in areas I had not preserved.  This is where transparency of the pigment is so important.

Cycles Second pour: Adding a bright middle value
So here is the result of the second pour. I started with an orange mixture similar to what I had created the day before and applied it selectively along with some Quinacridone Coral and a tiny amount of a yellow blend that was predominantly Quinacridone Gold. I wet these pours and tilted the support board to get the oranges to move about until I was happy with their placement.

Next I  added some Cerulean Blue in a rhythmic pattern between the orange areas and some French Ultra blue near the top, outer edges of the motorcycles, and a little in the shadow area below the bikes. I didn't want the foreground to get dark, so I tilted the board toward the top of the painting and let the color flow and intermix on the paper. I avoided using a brush as much as possible because using complementary colors at the same time does risk turning to brown. The light lavender blends you see between the blues and oranges are from the first pour. Since these complementary colors did not touch very much.

Here is another closeup from the center of the painting where you can see how the Cerulean Blue and Orange shades intermingled beautifully and the underpainting colors shine through. The Quinacridone Coral is visible in the tire toward the right from the first layer; Some green blends were created from the second pour where the Quinacridone Gold and the blues combined.  It is this wonderful intermingling of color that I love about watercolor and fluid acrylic.  This painting is entirely fluid acrylic but since I handle it like watercolor, watering down the paint so it flows on the paper, very similar results are achieved.

Now it's time for me to figure out the third, and likely last pour. I'll get to a medium dark value with the third pour and then I'll shift to my brushes to finish the darkest areas.

1 comment:

  1. The pours are perfect and will work wonderfully! This is going to be a fantastic painting - I love it already!


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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