29 September 2011

Limited brushstrokes exercise

This painting was in response to a weekly challenge on dailypaintworks.com. The challenge was to assemble 2 to 3 items into a still life arrangement and calculate the minimum number of brushstrokes required for the painting.
Blue vase, bowl and pear still life limited brushstroke challenge
A4 size, oil on canvas board

I set up the still life on a glass sheet over a dark red cloth to see if I could capture some reflections and then illuminated it with a flood light on the right. I drew in the design with a watercolour pencil, indicating the large masses. I calculated I needed a minimum of 32 brushstokes to create the painting.

I had two practice runs on scrap cardboad coated in gesso before committing to the canvas baord. This practice helped me to find out how to manipulate the brush to get the long gestural strokes in one pass and what thickness of paint to use. With my first effort, I stopped counting my strokes after about 50 LOL. My second effort was more successful as I realised I had to thin the paint a little so that it would flow more easily. When I moved onto the canvas board the surface was much easier to handle and I had ALMOST finished at 32 strokes but couldn't resist some fiddling. So I used about 40 strokes to get this far. I mainly used a large No.10 brush which certainly helps with the no fiddling rule!

This was a very good exercise, and I learnt quite a bit while doing this. I am still a bit hesitant when using oils as I am fairly new to them and have not explored it enough yet to feel truly confident with all the techniques. Using cardboard certainly helps to loosen up the painting style as there is nothing to loose apart from paint!

This painting no longer exists - I have scraped off the paint and will reuse the board for another trial.

21 September 2011

Black, White and Red landscape abstract

This is the second painting for the September challenge on the Daily Painters International blog where I missed the deadline. This was an abstract landscape that sort of developed as I went along. I mixed the greys on the paper as I went along. Adding the red was a last minute decision.
 Abstract landscape, black and white plus one by Marion Hedger

Acrylic and gel medium, palette knife
A4 on cardboard 
The three black and white paintings in this series were done very loosely and quite quickly. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed creating them as I had no preconceived ideas and nothing to lose as they were an cardboard cutoffs. The tree is a nod to my location here in the Alpes Maritime, Provence.

Here is a close up of the palette knife work:

Black and White plus one III

This is the third and final study in black and white plus one colour. This one is smaller than the other two and on canvas board with a black gesso ground.
 Abstract tree, black and white and red
10x15 cm (4x6") on canvas board
This exercise was interesting and tells me that I definitely need to loosen up in my normal work and this is an idea I am thinking of taking further - maybe not the white and black theme but definitely the loose palette knife work and using the gel to thicken up the paint. As this was only an exercise I used paint which was very fluid and not true artist paint. I wasn't sure if the gel (Golden gel medium) would work to give me a 3D effect but it worked well.

20 September 2011

Black and White plus one acrylic painting

Abstract seascape, black and white plus one by Marion Hedger
Acrylic and gel medium, palette knife
A4 on black card
Contact me about this or other paintings HERE

 I missed the deadline on the September challenge from Daily Painters International Gallery of painting in black and white plus one colour, as I was away on hols and forgot to post my paintings before I went away.
I used acrylic because I do not have a black oil paint and I could not achieve a nice black by mixing. I also decided to try two additional things as well as the black and white challenge, (I should learn to take one step at a time LOL), palette knife painting and abstracting.
I had a vague idea to do a landscape but with nothing else in mind I started playing with the paint which I had mixed with gel medium to give it more body. Somehow this turned into an abstract seascape, hence the use of the blue. I used thick paint on the palette knife and mixed the greys on the painting. I was quite pleased with this way this little exercise turned out and painted two more, which I will post in a later painting.