Playing with Paint

Hello, I hope everyone had a restful long-weekend (for some Canadians).

Back to oil painting:

img_3985After preparing most of the necessary materials for my adventures in oil, I found myself kind of frozen on the edge of a precipice. I don’t know why but I’m finding that there’s a block  when it comes to oil painting for me. It may be because of the fat over lean rule compounded by painting mediums and driers that interact with this rule. I have never had a problem just making art with other art mediums.

I guess that oil paint is the medium which I have/had the hardest time wrapping my head around. So, to help with this, I just decided to so some alla prima exercises, so I don’t have to worry too much about layers and fat over lean.

The exercises I set about doing was really low-key, just playing with painting effects. Using gessoed watercolour paper I made a while back, I taped up some sections:
img_3972I just started to paint with different colour mixes, using the palette knife, blending, using heavier impasto application etc..

Then I pulled of the tape:
img_3974Some of them look kind of interesting. The whole point of this exercise was to just start painting and enjoy the process. Breaking the block caused by fear and inaction is sometimes the biggest hurdle. I may continue to do these exercises until I feel confident enough. Maybe this type of exercise might help you if you feel stuck, or are afraid of starting something new.

Wishing you a productive week!

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“Distant Shores”

Hello everyone, Happy Friday! I am looking forward to the weekend. I don’t know about you, but it seems that every week is about just barely getting through the week, and finally breathing a sigh of relief on Friday night. There’s always something coming up, something that have to be done or dealt with and it’s exponentially worse when there are kids involved. Anyhoo, enough of my ranting..

Below is a 4″x12″ acrylic painting called “Distant Shores” (click on image to see larger view):
I’ve received several comments from people who wanted to know the actual size of my pieces. I thought my site name was self-explanatory 😆; I do like to work small. Art materials are expensive and the larger the work, the more it costs, and usually takes longer to complete. I am not opposed to working large and I may at some point, but since a lot of my works are experimental (as in, me testing out ideas/materials), I have kept my pieces small. So from now on, I will try to include the sizes of my pieces. I am still learning about putting my work out there in the wide wide world of the interweb, so reader feedback is much appreciated.

Moving on to “Distant Shores”, this piece was purely intuitive. I painted it late one night without intending to do any painting. I saw the canvas (by the way, I hoard/stock up on canvases when I see a bargain) and I just started to paint. This piece ended up looking like an alien city, but technically it was about making scratches into the surface of the paint:
img_3870As you can see above, many lines and scribbles were inscribed into the surface as well as leaving patches of gold.

I really enjoyed making the gold fine-line scribbles:
img_3869The thin gold lines that make up the scribbles resemble a storm. I imagine this type of weather in an alien world (although this happens on earth too).

In this detail you can see a vague silhouette of a city that is aglow from the evening sun:

I decided to render the sun in a playful liquid swirl:
I hope you like this piece, it was something new for me in terms of subject matter, technique and process. I am trying to expand my horizons and explore art mediums and or techniques that are new to me. Thanks for coming along with me in my journey. Have a nice weekend.

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Here is a little piece I did on 4″x4″ Clayboard panel:
img_3826 I wanted to experiment with acrylic paint and airbrush medium to get watercolour effects. It was interesting to work with acrylic thinned down to such a degree. It was also interesting to work on such a smooth surface such as Clayboard from Ampersand. It’s nice that the surface is rigid hardboard that comes pre-finished using archivally sound methods.

You can see the very thin “watercolour-look” of acrylic paint here, on the upper region:
In this detail, you can see the heavy acrylic paint with micaceous iron oxide. It contrasts the thin “watercolour-look” layer quite well:

The dimensional aspect is further enhanced by the “encrusted” gold highlighted in some areas. I wanted it to capture the beauty of minerals and crystals found in the something humble and eternal as our earth:

 Here is another detail:

I enjoyed exploring the thick and thin of this piece but I am still undecided wether I should varnish it in matte or gloss. Right now, it’s quite glossy. Or I can varnish some parts matte and some parts gloss. What do you think?

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Here is another painting in the ‘Experiments” series called “Home”:
image This piece is done with pre-mixed acrylic in the pouring medium; meaning all the colours were mixed into the pouring medium before it was applied to the canvas. None of the colours were dropped into the medium as some of the other pieces were.

In this painting, I wanted the image to be very simple using one technique. I also wanted to make a picture of a house that we all made at some point, in our childhood. I wanted a house that we can all identify, illustrated innocently. Hence, the use of bright primary colours and rudimentary depiction of house and yard.

I like the angled-slope created by the gravity pulling the medium down one side. The full-frontal look of the piece reminds me of those clay or glass tiles that have a glazed picture on them.

Here’s a shot from the side:

I find that entering into fall, we tend to nest indoors more. I hope you enjoy the coziness of your home and have a restful weekend.

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Traditional painting in “Experiments” series

Hi everyone, below is a study in the “Experiments” series:
I decided to use the traditional painting method of glazing with acrylic paint. The study features a basic sphere rendered by building-up transparent layers. I wanted to see what it would look like with a treatment of modern acrylic medium on top of it.

Here is a detail of the tonal values rendered on the sphere using the glazing technique. The good thing about glazing with acrylics is how fast it dries. You can get many thin layers down in a day. Whereas, in traditional oil painting, you’re lucky if you can get one layer done:

I really like the rough texture of the burnt umber:

I like the way the rough texture wraps around the sides of the painting. It makes the image more congruous as a whole:

Here is another detail:

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re enjoying the fall weather and it’s colours.

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Straight forward experiment

Here is another painting in my “Experiments” series:
In this piece I’ve painted a very simple abstract motif in the shape if a wave with a high impasto arch:
imageI used a warm and high-chroma orange to contrast cooler colours in the background.

The wave motif central to the piece is reinforced by the water droplets:

All in all, I wanted to see how the pouring medium would affect a typical acrylic abstract painting just by coating it. Here is a view of the side painted with silver:
It seems that the pouting medium doesn’t add anything but a high gloss finish to the painting. Although the gloss has more dimension so it looks more like a clear coating rather than just a painting with high sheen level. It’s a subtle difference but one to take note of.

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“Experiments” series cont..2

Hi everybody, here’s another piece from the “Experiments” series:
In this piece I used an old watercolour snippet of a face I had lying around. I adhered it to canvas and used pouring medium over it:
After the pouring medium encased the watercolour, I used micaceous iron oxide to “shade” around the watercolour to “frame” it like a vignette along with some magenta. The magenta is then used to obscure the eyes, accentuate lips and define the outline of the head. More layers of pouring medium is applied on top with various shades of teal that remind me of bronze patina. Finally, striations of gold and silver are added to breakup the image:
imageThe black bits are fragments of micaceous iron oxide.

The piece is interesting to me because of the colour combinations and patterns. Also, the juxtaposition of the traditional-figurative against abstract motifs. The traditional elemet is a watercolour of a woman’s head, the fluid application of the magenta versus the abstract elements of rectilinear metallic lines, and even the gloss of the medium itself.

Here’s a side shot:
I’m learning quite a bit about what this pouring medium can do. And I’m finding that it is really versatile.

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“Experiments” Continued…

Below is a mixed media piece in my pouring medium “Experiments” series:
This piece features wool and watercolour sticks. The hairy under layer is actually blue-black wool roving. I used it in a way that provides a gradient-look by thinning out the hairs from bottom up. I find that it complements the blue-black tint in the watercolour stick background drawing:
imageThe amber-like forms on the bottom of the canvas are translucent and you can see the hairs through them. These also emit iridescent dots of bronze and fiery copper that also fade out towards the top of the painting.

The white cloud-like forms are built up in layers to resemble porcelain. It reminds me of blue and white china:

Here’s a view from the side:
I think these micro-scapes can be something from an alien-world or ours if you look closely enough.  I hope you like it.

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Another Painting from the “Experiments” Series

Here’s my latest finished piece from the “Experiments” series:
I say “finished” because I find myself working on several pieces at once. This is because I work on other pieces while some layers are drying. Anyhoo, this piece is mixed media that includes metallic thread and glass.

Here is a close up of the metallic threads:
image It’s unfortunate I was not able to show very well, the magenta reflection of the threads.

Here’s the closeup of the glass cabochon used to highlight my initial:
The blackish circles are interesting because they’re made with micaceous iron oxide. They have the texture of sandpaper, kind of like iron shavings suspended in polymer emulsion.

The background of the piece was done with black scribbles of acrylic paint. I wanted to express movement and dynamism:

Overall, I was pleased with the painting. I like the colours being strong and contrasting (black and magenta) while maintaining a softness. The softness is achieved by the thinning down of high chroma magenta variegated with alizarin crimson.

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“Experiments” Series

As you know I’ve been working with pouring mediums lately. I’ve decided to group most of these paintings that share the same form factor (4″x4″ on canvas) into a series called “Experiments”. Because they are experimental in nature, these pieces primarily focus on exploring pouring medium with other media. Below is the latest one (again, please excuse the glare, they are difficult to photograph):
In this painting I incorporated glass beads. I love the look of the beads in this piece since the beads obviously lend themselves to bubbles in water.:

Some of the beads are iridescent to compliment the shifting hues when light reflects off the water when it moves:

Another fun thing was to put a flat glass piece over my initial, providing a see-through feature like a window:

Below is a shot showing the sides of the deep-edge canvas with drippage:

I have to say I really enjoy making these pieces because they are explorative and fun. I hope you enjoy them too.

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