Tuesday, July 3, 2007
One of my early acrylics
This is an acrylic painting I did in 2005 of the "ziggaurat" building on the west side of the Sacramento River. I was not doing plein air yet, and therefor painted this in my studio from a photograph I snapped. The photo was a mid afternoon shot that was pretty damn boring. I wanted something with drama. I decided on a sunset atmosphere with emphasis on lots of foreground river. Quite a challenge when I had no reference for that time of day to look at!. The great, great thing about acrylic is that I could play with color, sky, and water to my hearts content and all within the space of a day's worth of effort! With a drying time of about 15 minutes or less, I could work on achieving the sunset look over and over again until satisfied. There was really no limit to layering as long as I stayed away from thick impasto applications. Only towards the end, when I was happy with my goal of achieving a convincing sunset atmospher, did I add final touches of thick paint to key areas.
There is a great web site called "the painter's keys" for painters at: robertgenn.com. This week, they had an article on the joys of acrylic painting and its rising popularity. I, along with at least 20 other acrylic painters, added samples of our work and comments on the article. It's a great read if you are thinking of taking up the medium!
Like I wrote in my first blog, I am a plein air wannabe. But by jove (there's a lovely Victorian phrase), I now have about 4 months of acrylic plein air painting under my belt (or should I write under my easel?) Anyway, I will start to write in future blogs about the challenges of taking the medium outdoors. Often, when I speak to oil painters, they will sneer at the idea. I hope that my readers will see that not only can one successfully acrylic paint "en plein air", one can also add grand and exciting features that the oil painter can't. Am I saying one medium is better than another? Of course not! I'm just saying that out door acrylic painting is an option for artists that is well worth investigating!