Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Midsummer's Dream Owl

"Sweet Dreams Owl" acrylic on gallery canvas 30x40 Private Collection
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. Steve Martin

What’s your favorite time of day to paint? For most of my artistic life I was a night owl painter especially in the summer. Now the more I paint and pursue my passion for color I’ve become a morning or afternoon painter.  I love the light and the calm in the morning when the fresh canvas is full of possibilities and my favorite part is starting out loose and free...
Start of "Night Owl" with primary color sketch (blue, magenta, yellow)

Once in a while though I still paint late into the night. I also love night paintings and moonscapes. Interestingly some owls--such as barn owls--are technically ”crepuscular” (one of my favorite Latin based art terms) meaning they're most active at dawn and twilight.

As much as I enjoy oil paint, fast drying high chroma acrylic is the perfect medium for these large colorful owls. My favorite part the multi-hued acrylic skins or “jewels” as I prefer. Basically pieces left over acrylic paint pieces (from mixing) recycled back into the piece for extra color and a unique texture. (FYI, I use a soft acrylic gel as the "glue." You can achieve these leftover paint jewels by using any palette that allows you to easily peel the paint up when dry.

I’ve tried the so-called peel off palettes buy but for a larger and much less expensive alternative simply wrap or tape a piece of heavier (at least 4mil) plastic drop cloth around or to a piece of Masonite, cardboard, gator board, plywood—any hard smooth neutral colored surface. If you prefer to paint large and use lots of paint you could also just cover your work surface with the plastic sheet (which comes on long roll) and let it dry afterwards.
New Holbein Gessoes come in a variety of colors and textures
One quick acrylic tip is that I prefer white and black gesso for my black and white acrylic paint. I find the gesso has better coverage, mixes cleanly, and is often less expensive. Speaking of gesso, I haven't tried these yet, but I just saw that this unique line of "squeeze bag" gessoes from Holbein which looks like a great idea. Thanks and have a colorful summer week--day or night!

No comments:

Post a Comment