Sunday, May 16, 2004

Two seconds

This picture is the second time I painted on canvas with acrylics, and the second picture I have tried to post to my blog.

This painting was made thirteen days after my first rosebush painting, after a late-season snowfall. By this time I had studied a little about acrylics and painting, and I am quite proud of the shadow effects that I achieved by incorporating some of the colors of the sky and the shadowed objects into the shadow color. Unfortunately, I didn't pay much attention to the warnings about using too much water when using acrylics in the "watercolor mode". By thinning the paint with water you can create a transparent wash with many of the same characteristics as a watercolor (which I knew little about, since I hadn't used watercolors since high school.) Unfortunately, the water can also break down the binder that holds the paint - little particles of plastic bound in a water-based medium - together. So the nifty hard edges on the soft clouds and snowdrifts came at a price, a price which was paid when I decided to protect the painting from the ravages of my gallery/kitchen where it was on display by coating it with a layer of varnish - which acted almost like a thinner and smeared the image with each stroke. After the initial shock wore off, I worked around this problem by dabbing on the varnish straight-on with as little side-to-side motion as possible. The damage can be seen in the left center top edge, where a lone white cloud floats unnaturally - actually the titanium white primer showing through where the sky had been ripped away.

One note: Comparing this painting to the previous post will show that the mountains on the horizon are nearly identical in shape and placement. This is weird because these mountains do not actually exist. The background of this painting should include a garden swing frame (minus the swing), a garden shed (the swing was in here), clothespoles, a chainlink fence, a hedge of arbor vitae (one of which I have pruned and pressed into service for this painting), and my neighbor's orange-brick house. I removed most of these elements partly for artistic reasons, and partly because I'm lazy and didn't want to try to squeeze them all into what was essentially a painting of a rosebush in the snow.

Rosebush and Evergreen, March 20, 2004 Posted by Hello

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