06 September 2017

Value in Painting - Black and White Boards

"The most important aspects of a painting is VALUE  and DESIGN. These two trump colour, texture etc." Nicholas Wilton

Value is essentially the lightness and darkness of a colour. The correct use of value gives a painting (both abstract and representational) depth.

I must admit, because I use a lot of colour, the values can sometimes go awry and I have to always be very conscious of that. So getting more of a grip on this, is my goal for this aspect of the course.

The second assignment of the Art2Life course, was to create two boards using only black and white. I based one on one of my failed paintings to see where I could make improvements and the other was purely abstract.

This one still exists as shown, I have yet to put colour on it

The first one, received some limited palette colour:

I have not taken this one forward and I shall have to find it again in my pile of unfinished boards. I can see it is too busy (so obvious now) and it needs to be unified.

04 September 2017

Current Abstracts in Progress

As you know, if you follow this blog, I like working on several abstract paintings at once. I do this to a certain extent with my other works but not quite so deliberately as with the abstracts.

Working on more than one paintings stops me getting bogged down on one particular thing. Making a concious effort to work in small blocks of time on a painting (1/2 hour is usually a long enough time to spend on one painting) allows you to approach each new pass with a fresh eye.

Working on several paintings also allows one painting to inform the other and grow ideas. Here are nine paintings I am actively working on at the moment - but the pile of unfinished paintings is much larger. This no longer bothers me like it used to, another benefit of working on more than one at a time.

03 September 2017

Adding Calligraphic Marks using Acrylic Ink

One of the hardest things I find to do is scribble/calligraphic marks which seems to come so easy to many artists. To me, mine don't look natural and I have to manipulate them by painting over them, thinning the lines with paint or using transparent paint to make them 'sit' in the painting. 
I use a range of different tools - oil pastels, pencil and pen, but today I discovered I enjoy making these marks, and they look more natural, with acrylic ink direct from the bottle using the dropper supplied.

I'm great at purchasing art supplies (my favourite hobby) but often don't make use of everything I buy. I purchased some acrylic inks several years ago but only ever created a few ACEOs, so I am delighted to find another use for them.

Some of the marks on current works in progress

02 September 2017

Everyone Likes BLUE

Medium: Acrylic on Panel
Size: 30 cm / 12 inch x 30 cm / 12 inch x 5mm

It's always a little disappointing to discover you're average. Blue, along with teal and purple are my favourite colours. Teal and purple all contain blue of course.

"By the 1920s, researchers were just about ready to throw in the towel regarding that straightforward question, “What’s your favorite color?” People’s answers appeared far too idiosyncratic to study in any substantive way. But as statistical tools and color standardization improved during the decades that followed, a pattern slowly but surely began to emerge.

Everyone liked blue..."

Continue reading this article in Artsy Magazine


01 September 2017

Adding Texture to Acrylics Part 1

My visitors have all gone home and I am enjoy the peace and quiet lost in painting again.

As usual, I am working on several paintings at once but they all look a little flat so I am injecting some texture into them.

The best way to do this is at the beginning of a painting is using gesso or modeling paste. You can also use these on an in-progress painting but, as they are opaque, you will lose any colour already down.

One method I enjoy using, because it brings up a lot of unexpected surprise, is laying down two, three or even four layers of acrylics on top of one another and then scraping through the acrylic.

Use thick paint for the best results and wait for the paint to touch dry before adding another layer. I like to wait until the top layer is just touch dry before dragging the scaper through the paint. The effects are different according to how dry the paint is. Practice this to see the different effects. The wet paint also lifts off some of the dried paint underneath, giving interesting results.

The first photo is the work in progress. The grey is layered on top of the cream which is on top of the base painting colours and the scraper has been pulled through the paint.

This is a closer look at the texture achieved.

In this photo I have added another layer of blue to the top right hand triangle and again dragged the scraper through the paint.