Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Art Projects '08

Acrylic Fall ’08 Project

“Rays” alternative beginning. To see project pictures use this link:

The project for this semester will have two variations: One with texture and one without. It is not necessary to go out and buy texture mediums if you don’t think you will ever use them again, I just want to show the class that there are a lot of alternatives out there that can be fun both literally and figuratively to give a different dimension to your painting, this is only an option, I will be doing a demo in a more “traditional” style for those who don’t want to venture into unknown territory.

There are a lot of ways to create texture in your painting from using the heavy bodied paints that are now available to all the different modeling pastes, and various things like sand and chunks of crushed rock or glass, if it can be suspended into a medium, it seems it is available. Artists have been making their own textures in much the same way, the pre-made versions are a time saver.

Because of the time it takes for the texture medium to dry, I wanted to start my painting on the first day. The two textures I used to start the painting were light modeling paste and resin sand. Both can be mixed with water and paint to get the desired consistency and can be applied to the canvas with palette knives, brushes or fingers, you may need to experiment to see what works best for you.

I started out by drawing my rays on my canvas with my soft vine charcoal. The charcoal lets me change or correct my drawing with just a wet paper towel and it will not interfere with the paint or the texture mediums.

Once I had my drawing the way I wanted, using my palette knife to scoop out about a heaping tablespoon of the texture, I mixed the resin sand texture with ultra marine blue and Hooker’s green as my base color, it will be very dark, I also added white and yellow to my palette to have available to change the color in places if I wanted.

Using the palette knife and picking up big gobs (technical term) of my base mixture I began to apply it to my canvas avoiding the area where my rays will be. I wanted to get the canvas well covered with this dark color and texture, I also wanted to change the color in places so occasionally I would pick up small amounts of white or yellow, more blue or green to give the background sand some variation which will give it more interest. This is not the final application of paint this is just the under painting. Under painting is like the foundation of your painting and it needs to be strong so you can build on it.

In some of the areas around the rays where I needed more control, I switched to a flat bristle brush. The whole background can be done with a brush, just be sure you are using a bristle brush because the resin sand is very hard on your brushes.

When I was done with the sand area, I used the light modeling paste to build up my rays. The resin sand created a feeling of depth, if I didn’t put something on the rays to give them some dimension, they would look like they were swimming in the sand not the water, so the modeling paste lifts them out of the sand. If I were doing this at home, I would have let the resin sand dry completely before applying the modeling paste to the rays to avoid mixing the two together, it doesn’t hurt to mix them I just don’t want my rays to have warts. Don’t worry if you mix the modeling paste with some of the color of the sand, it is not going to hurt the final painting, we are going to paint over all of this a few times as we build our painting. I let this dry for a couple of days – it was still wet in a few places 3 hours after class depending on how thick it was – and I applied more modeling paste to give my rays even more dimension. I tried to show which rays were closer to the surface by making the paste thicker and those that were deeper I left the original paste I did in class. This is where I will leave it until we resume class on Monday.

Remember, this is just an option; I will start the other traditional one in class.

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