Friday, December 07, 2007

Dec 7 - Lesson! Acrylic Painting Beginning

OK, it has been toooooo long! Lesson time! I've been thinking about each one of you this holiday season, and want to gift you at least two lessons before the new year...

This is an interesting canvas size--it is 16 x 24, not your usual 16 x 20. I had a couple of frames of this size made up some time ago, and I'm doing a painting for myself.... imagine that! This size is the 2 x 3 ratio that one usually sees in 24 x 36 canvases.

Ratios in canvases are interesting in any event... we have the square 1:1 ratio, the 3:4 and 2:3 ratio, and the 1:3 that results in really looong canvases (or tall ones if it is 3:1). Finding the right ratio for the subject matter is important to me as an artist, because when I design within that space, I am influenced by the initial concept, and I then grab a canvas that mostly works with that structure. Trying to fit a concept into a canvas that isn't conducive to it is a scenario for frustration. Thus the guidance of a sketchbook to work through the best design before beginning! If you're interested, you might go back in the blog to see the whippet painting that is on a 1:3 canvas (12 x 36) which lends itself to the long, running stride of that dog breed.

Now this lesson canvas is destined to hang above the towel rack in my guest bathroom, and the subject is the coast of Maine. I've been thinking about this painting for a while--most of the past month--and so it is almost finished in my head before I lift a brush. I'm curtailed in my colors to match the bathroom (oh dear!) but that won't affect me until later in the painting. I may have to soften somewhat the concept to fit with the gentleness of the (ulp!) deep pink and gray-green and gray-blue of the colors there. But that's later.

For now, I started this acrylic with an underpainting of Quinacradone Burnt Orange and Cadmium Orange to get rid of that white canvas. Then I sketched in the design with burnt umber and ultramarine blue. I have a high horizon line to focus the viewer on the foreground, where I'm going to be having a riot of fun with acrylic texture to create the vegetation on the coast of Maine. Tomorrow the lay-in of the sky, sea and clouds.....

Other news, the two puppies are deeply entrenched in my heart, and have adjusted to the routines around here. They bring me such joy at their lively puppiness! (Now, just as a note, can you see the DESIGN in this photograph???)

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