Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

As the holidays are upon us, I thought I would write a quick note before I go to Phoenix to celebrate Christmas with my daughter and her husband, and my two grandsons. (The photo above is of me and my family, around 1960.)
Last week I did indeed get my 6' canvas, which is beautifully stretched, and started to draw in the painting.  While I have painted this large before, it has been horizontal, or if a figure, I haven't ever painted down to the feet. 
There are a few challenges, since the model is taller than me, (and I'm painting her...close to life size) such as......I can't paint her head...eye to eye.  So I have stacked some boxes, and am standing on them to paint.  So far, it is working pretty well.  One day I will have an easel that lowers into the floor, as Mel Ramos does!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

3d out of 2d...

I should have started my commission by now, but the canvas stretchers put me off another week, due to warped stretcher bars....should be this Thursday...

So meanwhile I have started another painting.  I just love when a painting begins, and how the 2 dimensional canvas starts to give way to a 3 dimensional image!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 3...

So yesterday I decided to paint over the dry layer of paint with original Winsor Newton Titanium White, (mixed with the other colors) and the blending is much better...if you compare the closeup view to the previous close up view. I am totally loving this face!  I don't know if it is the model, or the way I am painting, but it seems very "comic book" to me.
Now I will let this dry, and I hate to even think that when I paint in the background, the skin will be way too light.....and I will have to paint it again.  I have to remind myself that this was an experiment to test the quick dry titanium white.
I have a few "famous paintings" in mind for the background, but I am open to suggestions if anyone has any brilliant ideas...something to go with her "melancholy" look.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day white paint.

After painting yesterday, I am finding that the new titanium white (quick dry) is a little harder to blend, and it looks a little "plastic" to me...more like acrylic.  While I have no problem with acrylic paintings, I am already missing my smooth, blendable titanium white.  Having said that, the painting is totally dry, and I am loving that! 
What I think I will do today is repaint the face and body, and maybe mix the two whites, or paint the top layer of paint in the old titanium white....still not sure.  If I had a background planned (I am still deciding), this would be the perfect time to paint that in, and then repaint the whole painting with regular titanium white.  What can I say....another work in progress.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Commission and New White Paint!

I have recently "secured" a very large commission (30" x 72") that I am anxious to start painting!  First I ordered my canvas, and when it was being delivered the wind caught it, and damaged the very edge.  The young man who was carrying it felt terrible, but what can you do?  I should get the new one this Thursday, and then can begin.

Anyway, one of my biggest concerns over this project is the dry time.  If you read this blog, you will see that I paint the first layer of paint and then let it dry and add another, (sometimes the final layer), then I let that dry, and then varnish (retouch varnish at this point). 

I know I live in one of the dryest parts of the country; New Mexico, but I have been waiting for one of my latest paintings to dry now for almost 2 months.  I do use liquin, but am not in love with the shininess, or the paint consistency when it is added.  I have also tried flake white, but don't like the consistency, and chalkiness of it.  I have even tried setting a heater in my drying room, but since I turn it off at night, I am worried about the hot/cold change in temperature, and how that might affect the paint.

Well, the other day, while I was at the art store, I asked about some drying methods, and the guy showed me a line of Winsor Newton Paints (which is what I generally use anyway) that drys fast.  It is called Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd (fast drying oil colour). The titanium white is where my biggest problem lies, so I bought a giant tube of it to check it out.

Last night I was painting skin color, taking my time, as usual....using large batches of color as I go, which I then blend.  After about 2 hours I started to notice the paint was getting a little tacky, so I hurried to blend it, wondering if it was drying too fast......this morning, much to my shock and is dry!

So now that I know I have to work a little faster, I am very excited about this new paint!  My dry time is what slows me down, and is one of the reasons I have so many unfinished paintings laying around.  I may even be able to actually finish one piece from start to finish, without starting a new painting.  Hmmm, I wonder if I can adjust???