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Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Artistic Journey Continued

Started this oil painting on Friday and finished on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Taking a workshop "Oil Painting in an Impressionistic Style" with Linda Steere at Mispillion Art League, which suggests doing an underpainting in complementary colors that remain visible and enhance the final painting. Learning about fat over lean and trying to also incorporate some of the techniques I've been using with acrylics such as "scumbling" - which is kind of the way it sounds -

scum·ble  (skŭm′bəl)
tr.v. scum·bledscum·blingscum·bles
1. To soften the colors or outlines of (a painting or drawing) by covering with a film of opaque or semiopaque color or by rubbing.
2. To blur the outlines of: a writer who scumbled the line that divides history and fiction.
1. The effect produced by or as if by scumbling.
2. Material used for scumbling.

(I don't really understand using the same word in the definition of the word do you?)

The underpainting (sort of the first layer of the painting) is done in complementary colors which are the colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. The will make either "Pop!" when placed next to each other, or, mixed together will dull down the other. So in a painting where there is green grass for instance, you will do the underpainting in that area in red. It kinds of makes your eyes cross trying to decide what colors to make your underpainting, thinking in opposites! But it's fun!

I had to figure this out and here is my underpainting (forgive me, but I forgot to take a photo of the underpainting and started adding the blue of the sky - it was orange before I added the blues but you can still see this in the Underpainting below:

I let the painting sit overnight to dry a bit and then came in the next day to begin to paint over the underpainting. Using short, "Impressionistic" strokes, I began adding colors, below:

It's amazing how quickly it all seemed to take shape once I had those underpainting colors there. I just kept working at it building up layers, making sure I added a little bit of every color everywhere on the painting and worked until I felt it was "done", below:

This painting "Tuscany, Above Cortona" is 16" x 12" painting in oils on canvas. I hope to keep working in oils for the time being and see how my own "Signature" style develops. I'll be taking Linda Steere's February workshop along with a few of the other folks who took the January one - JoAnne Freed, Paul Hayes and Harry Humes along with others I suppose. It was a great experience and just what I was looking for in terms of learning about the basics of using this medium - for more experienced painters who have not worked in oils. - or for those who have and want a refresher/different way of working. 

I especially appreciated Linda saying it was not her goal to have us paint the way she does, but to find our own way. She never painted on my canvas which I appreciate and made informed, creative criticism in the classroom. Here's the painting I did in January during class time:

"Marsh" from a photograph by photographer April Allyson Abel, with her permission.

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