Moving Ideas Forward

Today I started work on a painting that I had been thinking about in the past two weeks. I had made a few "grid" like paintings inspired by my photographs of the Robin Hood estate and now I thought it was time to make a more "considered" work that I could then properly evaluate and assess if it is a direction I would like to pursue further with thoughts towards a final piece for the exhibition.

I stretched and primed a canvas a few days previously so I marked it out with light pencil reflecting the simple grid arrangement I had been playing about with previously. I had accepted the limitations working with acrylics had given me and decided to work in a slightly different manor to what I had done previously.

Below is a picture of the canvas marked up with scotch tape as I wanted perfect edges. I was previously disappointed with the little ridges of acrylic on the earlier painting so I decided that taping up and working more conscientiously would avoid a repetition of this.

I had learned the limitations of making greys with my cheap acrylics in previous experiments so for this painting I decided on a new approach. Previously I learnt that the acrylic I was using had a tendency to mix separate colours very quickly into a third flat colour. This was something that frustrated me as the mixes require a fair bit of adding colours to get the tone I wanted but as soon as you start actually mixing them together both colours quickly disappear into the third colour that was flat and atonal. I learnt that I needed to make a pretty accurate guess of the amounts of individual amounts of colour I needed then give them a tiny little mix and apply them straight to the canvas with as little manipulation as possible and that way I would hopefully have a much more interesting greyish tone.

Below is a picture of how far I got today and shows the successful application of the tones so that they had a nice variated tonal effect not dissimilar to marble. This was achieved by applying the partially mixed paints onto the canvas using a large, flat soft but springy brush and the paint was gently laid into the masked off areas with as little over painting as possible. I also needed to move the brush in a perfect downward motion as because the paint was only partially mixed any deviation to the right or left of the stroke would show itself in the paint trails and I really wanted them to ne as perfect as possible.

I am actually really pleased with this as I have made the paint work for me in the way I want it too. This needed lots of experimentation and creative thinking in order to find the solution. This is one of the things that really attract me about painting. Even cheap acrylics can be used is so many different ways that the standard straight out the tube a slapped on the canvas approach that lots of amateur painters use.

I look forward to getting more time to finish this painting soon.

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