Working Up To It

25 Mar

YOU*RE RIGHT! THESE ARE TRASHY! That’s what it means: Working Up To It!

A wider flat is naturally more inclined to an uneven stroke. And it consumes a lot of paint. You really need housepaint, like Ohm Cederberg (whom you probably will never hear of even though he taught and exhibited) used.

Here I am thinning oil on 2 of these using Skonsam Förtunning (gentle thinner), which won’t knock you down when you’re doing a wet-on-wet marathon even though it’s mildly annoying or cloying, and acrylics on 5, twice with the gesso painted over with acrylic binder because gesso repels thinned acrylics a bit. I did try thinning acrylic with just water, on the second one. The last one (006) is still drying in this snap.

With all of these (001 through 006) I was just working out how to approach something more permanent than paint on paper with these new things, a wider flat and thinner paints. The first two (3 images) are paper, and the rest on pieces of unstretched cotton canvas cut from a roll left from the days when I thought I should stretch my own for some reason I have since forgotten. This roll has been a drop-cloth and a backdrop before this.

Student-habits tend to become ingrained, perhaps. Scrounge and toil.

A bit cavalier, you might think, to leave no border for stretching the poor things one day, but as I say they are just exercises.

For the first time I actually tried to thin Water Mixable Oil Colors (colours) and mediums with (you guessed it) water! Could Grumbacher and Winsor Newton actually want to gull us? The thought had never occured to me! (Is nothing sacred?) Imagine my surprise, when these oils and mediums behaved exactly like oils and mediums of ye olde school do when you try to mix them in water! The pigment stains the water a bit, but the globs never dissolve. It’s like trying to chew chewing gum until it vanishes. So glad I didn’t start with a bucket-full!

These trial paintings are a bit like what I do with ink. I think I’m ready to approach a stretched canvas now, but maybe not. Plenty of old canvas left.

07, 08, and 09 are oils paintings I have added a bit to; they are repesented in earlier posts. (Ouch! I forgot to snap a shot of the biggest one, but I hate to move a drying oil painting around when it’s safely sheltered from dust, so it will have to wait a while even though it’s quite possibly finished now, but for the varnish next year sometime. If I touch up the gesso around the characters, will I have to re-gesso the whole damn background to match it up? That’s this one: , and as you might anticipate, the green is the background for a lighter (custom, so no-name) color I have now applied. I also added a bit to , and failed to snap it in my haste to protect it from further dust.)

Next up is an acrylic painting on cotton canvas (stretched!). A smaller flat than I’m practicing with in the previous was used for the 2 bold sets of figures. This one is new, unfinished.

016 to 021, acrylic on 55cm W linen (cotton was wrong, but it’s home-stretched with no cross-bar) canvas, has been featured here before under “work in progress”:

The last piece hasn’t been shown before, a mere 41cm W cotton canvas. Being small and complex (cluttered?) one tends to look at it close up, which makes one (me) wonder if it really will meet the specs on completion.

Some of these are just shots under differring light-conditions. Any actual changes are obvious ones.

Apologies for the image sizes. I forgot to shrink them a bit, so if you click “permalink” and then magnify you lose the whole thing on your average telly.

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in art


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