Thursday, March 5, 2015

Abstractly Avian

It's a shame that the story in each painting is only fully known by the artist.  Number two for the month of March (which should be number three, but I haven't finished the other one yet) started out in ye olde sketch book like this:

Can you see what it is?  Okay, we shall call it the original outline for the story that you cannot see on my canvas panel.  Now I will tell you the story, and include all of the characters.

Chapter One:  I painted the panel mostly Primary Red, but it was a bit too bright and not the deep color I wanted, so I added bits of one of my faves - Alizarin Crimson Hue - and swirled it around. That wasn't right either so I moved over to the other side of the panel and added Deep Violet - another fave.  I had no concrete idea what I wanted the background to look like at this point, other than I wanted reds, some shiny stuff, and it had to be light enough that black would stand out.  So the reds and the violet were playing somewhat nicely together but I wasn't feeling it, so I busted out a red metallic paint by Sargent Art.  It's a line called Liquid Metal.  Unfortunately, when I got the lid off the jar I discovered the paint was no longer liquid.  So I added some water and stirred it up. Hmmm. Still not very fluid but what the hell, eh?  On it went.

It was chunky.  And not really in a good way.

But we can work with that.  I love texture, I just wasn't expecting this one.  The more I worked it into the panel, the more I liked it but that particular paint is very pinky so I dripped in some Quinacridone Magenta.  (I have no idea how to pronounce that word.)  Now the background colors just needed some swirls of Iridescent Silver to up the shiny factor and it was good to go.

This is the part where we sit and watch paint dry.  I do not understand how oil painters do it.  That stuff takes WEEKS to dry, if not months.  Craziness.

Chapter Two:  I didn't want all that red and purple to be the entire background, I only wanted pieces of it.  So I used my trusty palette knife to scrape more paint across the face of the panel.  For the top half I used a color called Blue Heaven, and the bottom was Bamboo.  Plus more Iridescent Silver.  It was ... interesting.

Chapter Three:  It wasn't looking right so while that latest layer was still wet I got my trusty flexible ruler and dipped the edge in red (Napthol Red Medium, to be exact) and made two lines across the bottom of the panel and one across the top.  Like the red lines on S&P.  Remember that?  Go look, I'll wait. ....


Chapter Four:  Out comes the black enamel paint and we attempt to recreate the image from my sketch book.  This did not work out very well for me.  It was a short chapter.

Chapter Five:  An equally short chapter.  In trying to salvage my image I went at it with Raspberry paint, squeezed straight from the bottle.  This technique worked quite well with my two dragonfly paintings but, alas, the bottle of Raspberry contained more air than paint, so we got some massive SPLATS.  Not a good look.

Chapter Six:  I have some giant palette knives that I don't use very often because I paint small.  I think Kathy and Abby have the same palette knives in with their cake decorating supplies.  I got one out and smeared that black enamel and Raspberry paint all over the panel, obliterating everything.  It smeared up quite nicely - I rather liked it.  In an attempt to save some bits of the previous chapters, I got my trusty ruler again but instead of adding lines I used the edge to scrape small sections away. This gave me some cool glimpses of the underneath colors and also created some cool texture with the ridges of paint I was pushing out of the way.

Chapter Seven:  I did not wait for my new background to dry, and by doing that I got a wickedly cool effect when I busted out the white enamel.  Originally I had intended this to be a fairly dark painting, but my new background was too dark for black enamel so I switched to white.  Then, still winging it, I added the black enamel on top of the white.  Some accents of Iridescent Silver, Iridescent Stainless Steel, Cerulean Blue Chromium and Titanium White and ... done.  Until the darn thing dries and it is time for varnish.

So that's the whole story, start to finish.  Oh, and here's the finished painting:

He's funny looking.  I may call him "Black Bird, White Shadow."

(Holy crap - do you remember the tv show "The White Shadow"?  Whoa, there's a blast from the past.  Just in time for March Madness.)

Do you see how the purple-ish color leached into the outer edges of the white enamel?  That's the cool effect I got by painting wet on wet.  I'd like to say I planned it, but ... no.

And that bit up there is what showed through when I scraped back some of the top layer.  It's subtle (please pronounce that with three syllables - sub-t-le - and rhyme it with Frito-Lay; it's part of my secret language) but I like it.  Hard to tell there are a total of 15 different paint colors in this thing.

Now, speaking of none of that, I leave you with this:


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