Painting Progression day 1

Having made up some unprimed canvas I wanted to get started on a painting to see what it was like to work on the unprimed canvas, how absorbent it was, how the paint went on the surface and what it would look like when it dried.


I made the painting to the left earlier this semester and I wanted to use it as the basis for this next painting. For the source painting I tried to place many different colours but I did not want them to mix and become muddy. I wanted the viewer to be able to pick out specific individual colours in amongst all the chaos if they looked close enough. I wanted to reproduce the essence of this painting on a larger scale but refine it with the use of muted colours placed with more refinement for a more ordered aesthetic. The previous painting was made using my refined squeegee method as championed by Gerhard Richter. Richter uses a large squeegee with oil paint which he pulls back and forth over blobs of oil paint so the squeegee is constantly pulling the paint across the canvas causing them to blend together and create large blurry abstracts.


The method I use is more refined. I found some small metal scrapers in a DIY shop that I use to lightly apply small amounts of paint exactly where I want it. The scraper is more like a palette knife than an actual squeegee but unlike a palette I can get a lot more paint on the canvas and it gives me more control.

The metal scraper I use is pictured to the right. I can also use the scraper as a small palette itself and I often mix up my colours on the actual scraper using a palette knife.


I started by mixing up some colour tints using lots of titanium white paint. These were applied to the unprimed canvas using my scraper. I dragged the scraper very lightly across the canvas so that the acrylic paint just caught against the texture of the canvas here and there.

In this photo you can see how the paint has collected on the surface of the canvas in small little clusters. Occasionally I put too much pressure on the scraper and the paint leaves a much larger mark like the yellow one pictured here. This is not what I really want but it should not make much difference in the long term.


The picture on the left shows about 2 hours worth of dragging the scraper over the canvas with various tints of colours. My intention is to continue doing this over and over again with many different tinted colours so hopefully I will have covered 95% of the canvas with paint leaving only small areas of the unprimed canvas to be seen.


This is as far as I got today with approximately 4 hours worth of painting. This is slowly building up to what I want to achieve but I think I may have used some of the colours too strong. My intentions where to mix up and use very subtle tints that where very close to white but as you can see here the colours, especially the orange, cadmium yellow and cobalt blue are not muted enough. I really wanted there to be only the subtlest of tints. I'll leave the painting for today and come back to it fresh in a day or two.

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