Revisiting the styles and techniques of master painters is a wonderful exercise. This master painter takes you through the basics – understand that his skill makes this reproduction possible.
Wave – Acrylic on Canvas 16×20 – using Marble Paste under-painting for texture.
I’m having some fun and thought I’d share.
1st you put on a layer of Marble Medium – using the knife you smooth it out like icing a cake. The next step is to block out the image you are working on, adding more medium where you want and taking it away in others. It is like a shallow relief sculpture. When dry this medium is quite matte.
This medium is not too attractive and I painted it when it was dry. Using dry brush you can layer the paint almost immediately with a light touch of one colour over another. I like to work from dark to light.
Block out the deepest and darkest colours 1st – if you are following my reasoning. At a certain point I moved away from the brush to a the palette Knife to complete the layers. You can build with the knife and you can insure the paint stays only on the top layer as well.
Eventually I put my painting on my easel. I think it is important to walk back and forth to assess the colours and shapes. Because this piece was small I could work on it on the table for quite a while. It isn’t finished but you can see it will be soon.
Once more I am working from a photo from the website – Paint My Photo.
I have been admiring so many animal painters and illustrators. Usually when a student wants to draw a horse I am not supportive. 1st – you really should do studies if you don’t have any anatomy training. I probably should be doing a study that wasn’t based on a photo. I got the image from the Paint My Photo website – where members post photos to inspire art. My familiarity with the horse and the structure are the saving grace here. My drawing skills are still in the early stages of retrieval.
I learned a lot with this project and I might try this again – there are more interesting images on the site. I’ve always loved drawing ~ strange that I got away from it.
It has been a difficult road but finally I remembered to bring my camera and to take some images of my student’s work.
Aravind has no prior training. He is almost finished this one – I have suggested he think about shadows and in a radiating pattern on the ground, to draw the viewer into the painting. He is learning to mix colour and to handle the palette knife. Molly is also a beginner.
Shirley is a student who has been in my realism classes. The Palette Knife is also new to her. She brought in this painting of an Irish village that was unfinished. I encouraged her to explore the knife on the rocks and the foreground.
Lei started the class with a clear denial of the abstract. Her first effort was described by her boyfriend as ‘pizza’. Not discouraged she has soldiered on to create this painting, from an inspiration piece. The class and I think her version is better. I always want the student to make the ‘copy’ their own. She already has another idea waiting for next week.
Marie-Andree has some painting background and is very inventive. Unfortunately I didn’t photograph the 2nd image after she had reworked it. We have made it less uniform in its values and colours. Maybe next week I will be able to show her work in a better light.
All sorts of mishaps have kept my students away – jury duty, illness, wrong night, working late for the boss – but they are a cheerful bunch.
In this 5 week workshop the students are getting the hang of the palette knife and acrylic mediums. I will also cover design elements so their efforts look good.
In the class we are looking at:
- What knives are available
- how to use them to move the paint around efficiently
- producing many textures through layering, scraping etc
- the differences between gel and paste mediums
- understanding heavy and fluid body – how and when to use it.
- layering different mediums and how that affects the last layer.
- transparent colour, opaque, gloss, matte and textured mediums
- drying times
I wish there was some way we could get discounts for the students to try new mediums – they are expensive. Makes my demos expensive too.
Here is a sample of one of my recent abstracts, using the palette knife and gel mediums.
Next week I should have images from the class and some interesting results.
I had a fantastic time with this class – so much so that I have agreed to offer it again in the Fall and Winter as a longer workshop. I started the class off doing studies of fabric in traditional drawing materials = charcoal, pencil and conte. The next class we did more studies with hanging fabric and blocked out contoured areas in colour with chiaroscuro on top.
The models were great. The 1st class the students were quite overwhelmed but by the last class they were doing better. Most had loosened up a lot. We used what we had learned the 1st 2 classes and added gesture drawings and 10, 20 , 45 min drawings. For the last class we warmed up with gestures and finished with one long pose. The model was fantastic – had brought clothing that draped and along with his elegant look – it made for a good class.