Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thompson Lake Again, and More on Grounds

Here is another small painting done the second afternoon I was at Thompson Lake. It is the same scene as the last post but the view is widened to take in more of the shore. Again, it was done on panel primed with clear acrylic gesso tinted with cadmium red.

Since my aim is to do 100 oil paintings as quickly as possible I decided to use up some pieces of bookboard that are about 1/8" thick. Too thick for the books I make but perfect for doing the little paintings. Most are now primed the warm cadmium red. The red is a good ground color since many of the paintings will be landscapes that are predominantly green. Red, the complement of green makes a nice vibration in those spots that are not covered with paint.

Some panels are primed with white acrylic gesso to which I have added a bit of pumice. The white is appealing since a painting can be blocked in with the color (or its complement) of the subject. As a pastel artist I almost always use white Wallis sanded paper. My process is to block in the painting with pastel and then wet it down "melting" the pastel into the paper. You could get the same effect by doing a watercolor underpainting. At any rate, there is something familiar about looking at a fresh, white panel. And the color just seems to sparkle on it. I have been using the same process with the oils by putting down an underpainting of thinned paint.

Other panels have been primed with the clear gesso (untinted), that way I end up with the natural, gray color of the bookboard. Having a medium value gray makes it easy to establish the values in a painting since your eye is not fooled by the stark white of the ground if that is what you are starting with. I tried one painting on this gray panel today. When I get it scanned I'll post it.


Malissa said...

Beautiful work! I am very impressed and inspired. Hopefully you remember me. I am the girl with a baby on her hip that you met in the mountains of Utah. Keep up the beautiful work and I'll dust off my paints and brushes and let you know what I create! Sincerely, Malissa Price

havepencilwilltravel said...

Of course I remember you, Malissa! I'm glad to hear you are getting your paints and brushes out again. As I said when we met, colored pencils have real utility when you have little children and babies around. Eric and I returned home yesterday after a glorious week in Utah. If we did not have friends and family here we could be tempted to move to the Watsatch Mountains. He fished and I painted every day. We have always liked the skiing in Utah but now we think the Fall might be the best time for a trip to your beautiful state. I'll be posting some of the Utah paintings soon.