Two more small studio works mimicking plein air paintings.
Here are a couple of small studio paintings. I’m trying some new techniques with acrylics. Happy to be away from oil paint for now.
I tried to paint my daughter a couple of times. I struggle with oil paint technique unless it’s simply alla prima. Any attempt at more control or more involved process frustrates me because of the lengthy drying time. Two different approaches. Both oils on linen, 8×6″.
I like the second one much better. It was more like my drawing approach which I’ve been trying to bridge into my painting technique for a while but so far have been unsuccessful. The first one felt like I was just mimicking the source photo without thought or feeling. It seems like a mediocre attempt at copying. I was overly concerned with chasing her likeness.
The bottom one feels more like my daughter even if it’s a less photo-like representation. I just wanted it to be a big sloppy mess of a head and it turned out better than the one that I labored her features to death. I considered going really finished and polished on the first one with some more layers and refinements but I’m too interested in the spontaneous, more courageous approach of the bottom one. I was planning on just using up the oils on my palette and cleaning up to resume acrylics, but this has been encouraging after so much frustration with oil paint.
I said I wasn’t gonna quit on this one. I lied. I quit. I’m done.
That white truck looks like it’s parked up on the sidewalk. Not gonna fix it. Today was Sunday and there were a lot more cars on the street. I wanted to add more but lacked motivation. It also seems like it needs some people on the sidewalk.
This was an interesting experiment for me. Usually when I use oil paint I use it alla prima, or all in one shot basically. I don’t worry with layers or rules because it’s all painted at once. With this one I needed to be concerned with drying and had to work in layers because I was revisiting the location over multiple days. I don’t care for oils for this because I’m accustomed to using acrylics. I think it’s a matter of what you’re used to. Old habits are hard to break. I don’t like waiting for oils to dry.
There’s just something about oil paint that I really wanna like it… but I struggle with that agonizingly long drying time. I dream of someday doing really large canvases in oils in a gloriously large space. Someday. Now, I’m going back to watercolors! It’s a completely different struggle.
I hope people enjoy me sharing the steps and process of these things as I stumble along.
The first one took 15 minutes. It’s my favorite of the three. I probably should’ve packed up and left after that one. It was downhill from there. My watercolors are really pretty bad, but I do love them. Watercolors are a lot of fun.
Third day. There’s an elementary school directly behind me and today I arrived as the students and parents were also arriving. That was distracting but I enjoyed all the kids’ reactions and comments. If I continue this one I’ll try to arrive after school begins. Also, I’ve been waiting for someone to park behind my van so I can fill that void, but people see me painting and think they’re going to disrupt my scene.
I’m not sure if I wanna continue with this one or not.
Today I toured the Kuerner’s Farm at the Brandywine River Museum. It’s the only tour I hadn’t taken. It was very interesting to see the actual place that Andrew Wyeth did nearly 1000 works of and to stand where he stood. Seeing the actual place it was easy to see the inspiration for works but also how much he changed to make the painting work. See how much he changed the corner of this room to make the composition work. He also slanted the hill outside the window the other direction to keep it from fighting the flow of the sunlight and to mimic the angle of the moulding on the wall to the left.
This was my second time working on this one. It was cloudy today so I tried to work on parts that wouldn’t be as affected by sunny days. I’m still not crazy about oil paints, but hopefully I can finish this one just to say I did it.
Considered taking oil paints to figure painting group today but decided on watercolors. Same model as last time and same pose. First, I start with a quick sketch in my sketchbook. Typically these are my favorite ones.
Then a longer effort. A little too controlled for what I’d like to do. Someday I hope to get this to work for me.
And during the one session before lunch I laid in an underpainting of nickel azo yellow. It gives these an underlying acidic tone. The final color layer was only about an hour. I think I’ll play with this some more and see if I can get that underpainting to work. If I wreck it there’s nothing lost. These are just experiments and opportunities to learn.
I’ve been using oils lately and I’m wondering if I can do a multi-day plein air landscape with them so this is my first try.