Thursday, November 12, 2009

red paint

Allow me to explain a little bit about how I work with acrylic paint. This is my method for working on big canvases, I wouldn't use it for everything. I also work with acrylics in a more traditional watercolor approach.
I love red paint. Well, I just love big color anyway. But, to satisfy the love for the red paint, I always start on a background of bright red.
I like to draw these large flower compositions from life, right on the raw canvas, using my contour line method. I'll draw with ink, or paint or a fat marker. This gives me a looseness, a gestural quality, and fresh immediacy.
I often then go over the line with a bolder painted line, here you can see, in a cobalt sort of bright blue. Next step, a coat of bright red.
I like the emotional jolt I get when starting out with the bright red. And then, because acrylics are mostly transparent, I can use the red base to get a depth to my colors. I do a lot of glazing, and scumbling switching back and forth from thin to fat brush strokes.
By the time I move into a final stage of painting, the fresh flower that I started with is long gone, at this point something else switches on in my artist's mind. My final vision for the color and tone of the piece is not usually bright colors. The painting becomes something else, no longer the subject of flowers, but a statement of shapes, flowing forms, more like a landscape from my mind.