I’m was still playing around with Liquin. Its good points (handling, quick drying, etc.) make it indispensable. Here I applied a layer of Liquin to the canvas before I applied the paint. It was awful. It felt like I was using ‘old fashioned’ Linseed Oil. Sloppy, greasy, more paint lifting onto the brush than coming off it. The sky bit was OK until I was trying to put the fine branches of the trees onto the wet paint of the sky layer. The video below tells the whole story.
I like ‘one session’ paintings. I hate having to wait for a painting to dry before I can finish it. The way I am working at the moment I have no choice, I will have to paint smaller pictures, or paintings which take less than 2 hours to complete. As I write this I am looking at the next painting I completed yesterday and am thinking of the next one, and I think this is good. Recently, I got bogged down in the issues with Liquin and paintings drying as I was working. This is a problem beginners suffer from a lot, ie getting bogged down in a painting, which goes from bad to worse, or spending so long in a painting session that their judgement is impaired and the painting seemslike its going from bad to worse. One session painting is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, but exhaustion and fatigue effects everyone.
The part I worried about the most, before I started to paint this picture, was painting the dark shapes in the water. These had to be sharp and with no mixing with the under-paint. Alla prima is the problem – wet on wet. If I allowed painting to dry there would be no problem with the dark shapes mixing with the light blue under-paint. But thats not the way I roll, as the kids would say.
The first layer was Ultramarine Blue with solvent only. This evaporated fairly quickly (with the help of a hair dryer) leaving a thin layer of this transparent blue. I thought about painting the dark shapes directly onto this layer but it was too deep in colour and the texture of the canvas was too noticeable (the paint+solvent settles into the weave and really emphasises the canvas texture). The layer had to have white and blue and be brushed smooth. Liquin and solvent, just enough to make the paint spread, and then briskly brushed did the trick. This makes the Liquin ‘tacky’, great for painting sharp details on top. Continue reading →
From time to time I make the effort and paint a landscape which is ‘real’. This involves not adding or subtracting from a scene in order to make it fit an idealised version of the world. I find if I don’t make the effort to just ‘copy’ the scene and resist ‘converting’, the paintings begin to drift into the ‘dreamworld’. In this world objects and places are stylised and tend towards abstraction. The ‘real’ interpretation of the world is the common language, between the artist and the public, and this language needs to be updated from time to time. Continue reading →