Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Still More Snow!!!!!!!!!

Will this winter ever end? Here it is, April Fools Day, and we are plowing snow again! We still have about 4-5 feet of snow on the ground depending where you measure. It snowed all day yesterday...not a lot of accumulation but enough to need plowing and certainly enough to make things messy. I finished two paintings this past week, a 6 x 6 and an 11 x 14. Both winter scenes ( I just can't get winter off my mind) and now they are up on Ebay for auction. That clears the decks for me to start to paint for the print company. I don't enjoy "repainting" a creation. I've had to do it a couple of times as clients have seen a painting that I have done and want another one like it. So in repainting them, I will change things up a little; paint them in a different size format; add some more details. This will help to make it more interesting for me. I'm starting off with Sunday at Saltwater Farm. Originally it was an 11 x 14, now I will repaint it as a 16 x 20.

Last night I painted the sky and let it dry over night. Painting skies in acrylics is difficult. Acrylics dry quickly, unlike oils that give you lots of open time to blend and create drama. So you have to work at breakneck speed to do blending, but I have a different approach. When painting on canvas, first I make a thin wash of the medium sky color and apply that to the canvas. This helps me later in the painting so that I don't have to worry about any white areas showing through when the brush skips over the weave of the canvas. When this layer is completely dry, 10 to 15 minutes, I make a true sky color mixture and paint this over the entire sky area. Wait for this to thoroughly dry. Then I make another sky color mix and this time I add some transparent faux glazing medium. This slows the drying of the paint so I will have time to blend much like you do when using oils. I start applying this sky color at the top of the canvas with a 1" wash brush and in long sweeping horizontal strokes from one side of the canvas to the other work my way down the canvas. When I am half way down the sky, I stop and quickly wipe the brush on paper towels to remove the excess paint. Then I load one side of the dirty brush with Titanium White and load the other side with the original sky mixture and starting at the horizon line I work my way up to where I stopped, with the same long sweeping strokes blending into the already painted sky. When I achieve the look I want, I let it dry for 24 hours and then go back later to put in clouds.

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