Well, I admit I had a slightly different idea for how I wanted this to look before I started, but sometimes I guess you have to let the painting go wherever it wants to go. I’m not complaining. We’ll see what happens with her hands. Should be fun.
I think I’ve found something to paint on the new panel I made in the previous post. This was from a short video sequence I had with a woman’s face as she stared intently at another person speaking. She was in the background and the image was small and blurry, so I had to improvise on it some.
I enlarged the image on a scrap piece of paper, and rubbed some white chalk on the background to transfer the outlines. I like all the line shapes here, and may wind up keeping them in the painting instead of using more modeled shadows in the source image. We’ll see how it goes.
Now that I’m between projects, I wanted to use this time to finally test out this Acrylic Ground for Pastels made by Golden that I bought a few months ago. My true plan is to see how well it works with gouache paint.
As a test panel, I used a scrap piece of hardboard, 8.5 x 11″. It had a little dried white acrylic paint rubbed into the surface, but I figured that wouldn’t be a problem. First I sized the board with a couple coats of GAC 100 medium to keep anything in the wood from leaching up to the surface. You’ll notice in the photo above that the ground is somewhat gray and translucent. It doesn’t have any pigment in it, like an acrylic “gesso” ground. That gray color is from finely ground silica that gives the surface some tooth for pastels.
The label instruction says to not thin it with water more than 40%. This photo shows what it looks like with 3 coats. The first two coats where not very thin, maybe 10-20%. The last coat was thinner. I noticed that the brush left behind a few small gouges in the surface caused by some larger particles of silica, so I dug that out and filled the tiny holes with undiluted ground using a palette knife. I wouldn’t want to do that with a true gesso surface, but with this acrylic medium it isn’t a problem to patch it that way. I suspect that if I had waited for each coat to dry longer and harden, it wouldn’t have had those gouges.
I wanted to even out the color a bit, so I mixed up a thin wash of acrylic “gouache.” This will be porous enough for regular gouache paint that won’t lift.
The final result I left a bit patchy, but that’s okay. Now comes the fun part of figuring out what to paint on it.
My friend, Elizabeth, dropped by yesterday wearing a lovely print dress that she modeled for me. I got so wrapped up in the details I didn’t have time to sharpen them up before she had to leave, but I managed to snap a couple photos to help me clean it up later, or make into a new drawing. I’m getting a sort of Klimt meets Gauguin vibe, so we’ll see what I can work up for a background at some later date. This is pencil, about 21 x 12″.
This is a charcoal drawing (charcoal pencil) of my friend, Elizabeth, applying some sunscreen spray. She wouldn’t need it today, with all the rain we’re getting. Paper size is 24 x 18 inches.
It was done at a figure drawing session I participated in recently. I always prefer the model to be doing some sort of action other than just posing. I may make this into a more complete drawing once I figure out a good background for her.
I dug out a painting I had finished about a year ago to make some changes. I wanted to add a broader tonal range of values with more highlights to her figure and a darker background. I’ve photographed the background unfinished so you can see some of the process.
The black acrylic paint was reflecting too much of a satin sheen, and adding matt medium wasn’t helping, so I tried using oil pastel instead. That seemed to do the trick. I used a pink and white pastel on her figure, and for the background I first used a blue then black pastel. I mixed the blue and black together with a paper towel dampened with mineral spirits to blend it together. To get around the shape of her figure, I used a cotton swab dipped in the spirits.