Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good Day Sunshine

Yesterday I noticed the light levels are really beginning to get much stronger as spring approaches.  In the kitchen, I spotted the sun hitting a plate of pears and took a few snapshots for my oil painting study this morning. I was really drawn to the strong shadow patterns and organic shapes.  As I often do I painted this small 8x8 study on bright red toned canvas board--one of my favorite painting approaches. It's interesting to play with the "lost and found" red edges.     

For this study, I decided to do a quick (30 min) acrylic underpainting to help me map out where I wanted to go with my expressionistic colors. My favorite palette for working on acrylics by the way is the Richeson Lock Box palette. Sure, it could be larger and the donut-shaped inserts are rather funky, but I love the round shape (so I can mix around the color wheel). And it really does keep acrylics quite pliable for at least a few days and I live a very dry climate.  (Just wet the sponge inserts, lightly spray the palette with water and close the lid.)

Why bother with an underpainting for a small oil study? One of my new students is working on a master copy oil painting using the classic grisaille underpainting approach.  This layered classical method had me thinking more about approaching a painting in this way, which is not something I would normally do especially when I only have an hour or two to paint.  But the results can be well worth your patience, so while I've not done a traditional glazed oil painting with a lot of detail in a while and am thinking that will be my next painting.

For more information about my oil painting classes (located in Denver, Colorado) please drop me a line at the email above or visit me on Teach Street (search Scarlet Owl).

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