Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Is if finished?

Ok, so last post I showed the process of acrylic painting remembering to photograph the stages as each day progressed. The painting Watching the Hikers was viewed for two days and though it seemed complete I was not satisfied, I felt it could be pushed a bit further. The greens tended to be a bit too consistent as I used Ultramarine blue with Cadmiums it gave a muted green which was good for the effect of the cloudy spring day which was what the week camping in Waterton held for us.

Everyday was rainy for a portion of it which made for beautiful strong coloration of abundant wildflowers which were ablaze across the hillsides. Bears and coyote ambling through the fields were a joy to behold as we drove through the park. Due the rain, trails were slippery enough that I could not traverse them so we stayed pretty close to the highway, after all if I slip my poor hubby is the one who has to carry me back out, and I am not that light.

So back into the painting I ventured with Phthalo Blue mixed with Hansa Yellow plus Titanium White to create brighter and lighter green/blue hues to offset the muted one. The nice thing about acrylic is that areas can be overpainted. I mixed white in to soften the green area in front of the bears face to subdue and shift the background green back a bit more there. Shades of the new color blend was stroked on background trees for added variation which in my view added a bounce of life to those areas. Into the foreground pure color was randomly glazed and dabbed using a half inch brush both flat and on edge to add pops of the color into the foreground. Lastly Burnt Sienna was mixed with Ultramarine to darken and reshape the mid ground and add a earthy feel to the plants. Is it now done?

I let the painting sit overnight and this morning punched up the darks in a few areas defining the back trees a bit more. So far satisfied with it. You will notice a change in color tone from yesterday to todays photo, thats due the dark cloudy days we are having and yesterday I forgot to turn off my overhead light which cast a warm tone. Today though I had enough light to take the photo but had to lighten it on the computer. Also due the process of acrylic glazes light bounces through to the underlying colors just as in a watercolor painting making it quite difficult to get an exact copy of the painting. In reality I believe the truth is somewhere between the two images. I need to wait for a day with good consistent natural lighting to capture a final photo of the painting but for reference images this is ok.

As with most artists the more we paint/create the more we learn the more we develop. So practice and keep on creating.

In the last three weeks I have painted three acrylic paintings. "In the Wake of the Loons" a canoeist on a lake at evening when the light becomes bold across the landscape. "Cameron Waterfalls" at Waterton Lakes National Park and "Watching the Hikers" also a Waterton landscape.

Another Bear in the wildflowers painting is in its rough draft stage, will I remember to document its progress? I will attempt to as I wish to push this one with bolder wider looser brush strokes and use less muted color. I have an idea in my mind where I wish to go with this one which is unusual for me as I tend to paint tight and very detailed. Maybe this is another turning point in painting for me, time and paint will tell.