Tag Archives: acrylic painting

Evening Painting

If you read my post two weeks ago, you saw how I “fixed” a painting with which I was not satisfied. In all of the years that I have been painting there is at least one painting that I just can’t get right no matter how hard I try and how many coats of paints and glazes I have used to try to get the painting just like I want it—something that I think is a good painting.

I have one of those paintings now. In my post about it, I said, “So now with this painting finished and the others resolved, I seem to be almost ready for the exhibit. I think it is finished, but I have to live with it a while.”

Well, I lived with it for about three days. One of my first thoughts was the name of this painting is Evening and the sky did not reflect an evening sky. It was not an evening painting. Next the forefront of the painting seemed to light.

And then what about that building. It was a dull color. The real building which was my studio was red. It needed to be red.

Ann Hart Marquis--Evening at Chalk Hill-evening painting showing a dark sky and water reflected by light

Evening at Chalk Hill, acrylic on birch panel, 18 x 24 x 1.5 inches.

I then painted the sky a violet blue, the studio red (a mixture of cad red light and alizarin crimson) and the foreground darker colors. I also added more reeds in the front, left and made them darker. I didn’t touch the mountains or trees. I did take out the orange-red that was below the trees.

It is now looking good. I think.

Better than two weeks ago. What do you think?

Ann Hart Marquis-Evening at Chalk Hill- finishing a painting

Evening at Chalk Hill, acrylic and ink on birch wood panel, 18 x 24 1.5 inches.

Painting Over a Painting

As some of you know, after living with a painting for a while, I may think it needs a little touch up or perhaps I see what I would call an error that just doesn’t work. I can always remove an element from a painting, paint over a section or change the look. That is the beauty of painting with acrylic.

This week I took a painting on birch panel that had been bothering me for some time. I felt that it was not very  imaginative. I didn’t need to spend much time with it before I decided it had to go and I wanted to keep the expensive panel.

As I mentioned in my last post, sometimes when I look at a painting that I did months ago, I know my style has changed and I find the old work lacking in some way.

First let me show you my new painting. I am very pleased with the way it turned out. And I don’t think that I will be touching it in the future.

Ann Hart Marquis-painting over a painting

Ridge Oaks, acrylic on birch panel, 20 x 20 x 1.5 inches.

I took the old painting, turned it sideways because I liked some of the colors on the side of the painting, drew a horizon line, painted the sky and just started painting over the bottom half.

I layered the bottom half with mixtures of blue, turquoise and green and dabbed on some contrasting color here and there. It was all rather done by intuition.

It was fun and rather exciting to do because I had an exact image in my mind of what I wanted the finished painting to look like. And it was easy, although in some spots I had to do several new layers to cover a dark color.

Ann Hart Marquis-Chalk Hill Oak-painting a river

Chalk Hill Oak, acrylic on birch panel, 20 x 20 inches, 2015. ©Ann Hart marquis

Here is the original painting which I thought was rather mundane. I am happy that it is still part of my new painting. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Finishing a Painting

Last summer, I spent three weeks in June at an artist residency in Sonoma County, California. During that time I painted seven paintings that I considered finished when I left and one that I knew was incomplete. My task, finishing a painting.

Because I got off on another painting tangent, I have not paid much attention to that series. I have been recently been asked to hang 7-10 paintings for the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation Annual art exhibit in March. My summer series seemed perfect for that exhibit, so I took a long look at them again, and decided to complete the one that I had not finished.

Here is how it looked when I left California. It needed a lot of help.

Evening #1

Evening #1

Here is how it looked after working on it for several hours.

Evening #2

Evening #2

And here is how it looks for now. I think it is finished, but I have to live with it a while.

Ann Hart Marquis-Evening at Chalk Hill- finishing a painting

Evening at Chalk Hill, acrylic and ink on birch wood panel, 18 x 24 1.5 inches.

After working on this, I started to look at the remaining paintings. I really liked three of them, but the others I thought needed a touch-up here and there. I painted these paintings almost eight months ago. During that time my painting style has evolved. I have some paintings or have sold some paintings that I still would not change a brush stroke. It seems to be an arbitrary arrangement for me.

So now with this painting finished and the others resolved, I seem to be almost ready for the exhibit. But it is almost three months from now. Where will I be then?

Palette Cleaning

If a painter uses a palette to hold paint, eventually it probably needs to be cleaned. Since I am an acrylic painter for the most part, I like to use a palette that stays damp so I can keep my paints damp from day to day.

My preference is Masterson’s Sta-Wet Palettes. Their palettes come in various sizes from 8 x 7 inches to 16 x 12 inches. My favorite is Masterson’s Painters Pal which is 12 x 13 inches and I like it because it has the best seal.

Since I like to mix colors on my palette, I do my palette cleaning approximately every month or two depending on how many colors I have used. This week it got cleaned, but I still had a little paint left so I found a sturdy white painter’s cardboard and created a small abstract.

Molding Paste

I protected the cardboard first by putting on a heavy layer of molding paste. I haven’t used molding paste in my paintings for some time. This medium is not particularly absorbent, so the paint can slide around when held at various angles.

After the molding paste dried, I thought of a very loose composition, perhaps representing an abstract landscape, put a little water on the molding paste and then applied the paints. Here is the result. The dark color is a chromatic black made up of odds and ends on my palette.

An Hart Marquis-Oh Happy Day-palette cleaning

Oh Happy Day, acrylic on cardboard, 8 x 6 inches.

Although at this time I don’t use molding paste, I have used it extensively in the past and I like its effects. As mentioned below, I used it basically to add texture, but I have also used it to cover texture in a specific section in a painting that I didn’t like.

According to Golden Paints, molding paste can also be used to create foundations for painting either to create texture over a smoother surface, or to smooth out a textured surface. It dries to a hard, yet flexible, opaque film and blends with colors to tint and extend paint.

Gold Leaf

During the workshop that I attended in Phoenix, I used imitation gold leaf for the first time. Gold leaf or metal leaf is exactly as it sounds. It is a more cost effective version of genuine gold leaf imitating the same metallic qualities.

The metals used to create the imitation gold leaf are an alloy of copper and zinc. Metal leaf is thicker than genuine gold leaf and is easier to handle. It commonly comes in squares of about 5 x 5 inches.

Real gold leaf is usually stored in a store vault. It is sold in squares of about 2 x 2 inches and costs about $10 per square. Imitation gold leaf comes in squares of about 5 x 5 inches, and cost about $0.25 cents per square.

The process of using the imitation gold leaf was to apply gold leaf fixative that was made specifically for this product. I put it in the places that it thought would make an interesting composition and where I wanted to see the shimmer. After applying the glue, I waited for it to dry until it was just tacky and then laid the leaf on it. Next I got the air bubbles out with a soft brush. The image was then ready for me to complete.

Here is how the painting turned out:

Ann Hart Marquis-Abstract 3-gold leaf

Abstract 3, mixed media on paper, 11 x 14 inches, 2015. ©Ann Hart Marquis

I like the process and result and since I bought a booklet of gold leaves, I can use them in more paintings.

Beginning Painting

My class at the University of New Mexico, Continuing Education, Painting for the Complete Beginner ended last week. Here are a few examples of the work that was done in class. All of the paintings were done in acrylic. Although this was a beginning painting class, you can see the work is quite imaginative and well done.

Wendy Peterson, 2015

Wendy Peterson, 2015

Don Koepke, 2015

Don Koepke, 2015

Don Koepke, 2105

Don Koepke, 2105

All of these paintings were done with the greatest care and diligence. It was such a pleasure to see students learn beginning techniques and then to watch them create such interesting and inspiring pieces. I hope that they all continue with their painting experience. They should. There certainly was talent in the group.

Joni Lebens , 2015

Joni Lebens, 2015

Corinne Armijo, 2015

Corinne Armijo, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next class starts in June, 2015, and I get to experience the fun of playing with color all over again. I hope you enjoy these images, as much as I have.

Joni Lebens, 2015

Joni Lebens, 2015

Abbey Ibrahim, 2015

Abbey Ibrahim, 2015

Value in Painting

In art, value is the lightness or darkness that can be distinguished in a painting. It is thought that value is more important than color to the design and success of a painting or drawing. As a matter of fact, value has nothing to do with color. It has only to do with how light or dark the color is.

Without value variations we could not even see the subject. In the dark or intense light or even grey fog, for example, nothing can be discerned.

Additionally, it is though that if we get the value right, the color can be off and the painting will still work. This may not always be the case, but most frequently it is.

Characteristics of Value

Value in painting is important because it describes the scene in ways that colors cannot. In a representational painting, value plays the role of describing three important characteristics of the subject:

  1. Whether the subject has dimensions or is flat.
  2. What kind of smoothness or roughness the surface of the subject has.
  3. Where the light source is coming from and how bright it is.

Paintings do not need color to play these different roles.

Ann Hart Marquis-Through the Window-value in painting

Through the Window, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 x 1.5, 2010. ©Ann Hart Marquis

Now look at the same painting, without the color:

Ann Hart Marquis-Through the Window-value in painting

Through the Window-black and white

Notice that without the color we still read the shape and form of the interior of the room and the tree. We still understand the texture of the drapes, flowers and leaves. We know that the sun is located high in the sky and off to the left.

Value, then, makes it possible for us to know what we’re looking at. Without clear values in a painting, objects will appear flat, lifeless, and uninteresting.

Acrylic Painting Fix

Sometimes when I have finished a painting there is a little annoying doubt that says “are you sure this is finished? Are you sure it needs no revision?” I recently had such an experience with a painting that I completed in the spring of last year. In the process of organizing my studio I came across this painting. I really knew it had problems when I hung it on the wall. I just didn’t want to admit it.

It is called “Patches of Paradise,” and in reviewing the piece I decided that was an appropriate title because it seemed very patchy to me.  Also, the bottom half did not seem to be as integrated as the top half of the painting. And what were those trees doing in the foreground? It needed an entire acrylic painting fix.

Before applying paint to this canvas I had applied light molding paste which gives the surface a very textured terrain. My problem was that I let the terrain dictate the composition on the lower half of the painting. Not a good idea. I had also used colors that were too intense for almost all of the painting.

Original Patches of Paradise

Original Patches of Paradise, 2014

This week I decided to tackle the painting and see if I could remedy the problem. I covered the unattractive terrain with thick paint then applied a more toned down palette to the necessary areas. I also made subtle changes to some of the upper half of the painting. I removed the trees.

Ann Hart Marquis-Patches of Paradise-acrylic painting fix

Patches of Paradise, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 x 1.5 inches, 2014/2015. ©Ann Hart Marquis

I would like feedback on my changes or any comment about the painting itself. Am I finished this time? Does it now need a name change?

Working With a Horizon Line

Winter is almost over and here in New Mexico, trees and plants are starting to pop with color. Instead of browns and greys in the landscape I am starting to see a few patches of green, orange and even yellow all over the scenery.

Here is another painting that I just completed using a rather limited palette of raw sienna, cobalt blue and red oxide. This combination allowed me to mix interesting pinks, greens and oranges. Once again I have painted a high horizon line. I am still somewhat preoccupied with the horizon line.

Ann Hart Marquis-New Mexico Winter #5-horizon line

New Mexico Winter #5, acrylic on paper,10 x 3 inches. Ann Hart Marquis

Horizon Line

The horizon line is thought to be one of the foremost visual components or clues of perspective in a landscape. It’s the thing we immediately use to interpret the perspective in a painting we are viewing. We do it almost instinctively.

So if the horizon line is too high or low in a painting we lose the brain’s ability to interpret and perceive perspective. Instead, the viewer has to first struggle to deal with where the horizon line is, to see it for what it is and put it in relation with everything else in the composition.

Too high a horizon line, with only a tiny sliver above it and the brain won’t instantly register that area as sky. If it is too low, the sliver below the horizon risks not being perceived as land.

In most cases, a low horizon line works for emphasis on the sky. A high horizon line emphasizes the landscape.

In any case, I hope to be able to abstract the horizon line more in the future.

Artist Retreat

This past week I spent 4 days in Phoenix playing with paint and experimenting with new surfaces. The occasion was an artist retreat with fellow artists that I painted with at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago during the summer of 2011.

The first day we experimented with a technique that called for a first layer of acrylic paint on any gessoed surface, then an isolation layer followed a top layer of paint. Each layer needed to dry before adding the next layer. We only used red, yellow and blue paint.  I enjoyed the process. Here are 2 examples:

Ann Hart Marquis-artist retreat

Acrylic on canvas, 9 x 12 inches, Ann Hart Marquis

Acrylic on paper, Lorna Filipinni-Mulliken

Acrylic on paper, Lorna Filipinni-Mulliken

On the second day we experimented with Yupo paper and light molding paste. Yupo paper is the 100% recyclable, waterproof, tree-free synthetic paper.  It is super-smooth, bright white and durable. Here are some of our Yupo pieces:

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 13 x 20 inches, Diane Huff

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 13 x 20 inches, Diane Huff

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 13 x 20 inches, Ann Hart Marquis-yupo

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 13 x 20 inches, Ann Hart Marquis

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 13 x 20 inches, Gail Suttelle

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 13 x 20 inches, Gail Suttelle

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 13 x 20 inches, Connie Hoogerland

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 13 x 20 inches, Connie Hoogerland

Light molding paste dries to an opaque, matte finish. It is designed to hold stiff peaks for highly textured surfaces and it blends easily with colors. Molding paste can also be used to create foundations for painting either to create texture over a smoother surface, or to smooth out a textured surface.

The last day we reconvened and made more interesting creations, each of us choosing what interested us. It was a wonderful get-away and we plan to do it again, perhaps in Chicago.