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The Daily Paintings and Postcard-Sized Sketches in Oils and Acrylics

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April 2009

3

I demonstrated how to make a fairly good old painting I had much better, by the knowledge of the Color System I'm teaching. I took this 24 x 36 acrylic that I painted back in 1998, and with glazes and some enhancement of areas, transformed it from a ho-hum nice painting to a definite morning light piece. I'd painted it in 1998 during the month after my dad died as a series of pathway paintings, coming to grips with losing a loved one, and the path we are all on during this stay on earth.

In the Color System, morning light is suffused with yellow (mostly) and shadows take on some characteristics of the receding night sky. It was fun to change the areas of sunlight and shadow to reflect this, and yet to hold to the integrity of the original painting.
7

Here is the one I did as the demonstration for evening light, on a 12 x 16 panel in oils, using the Color System to convey time of day on the light falling on the pack mule and the landscape. It is a quick study, roughly done in about 30 minutes. However even at this loose stage, the light is set and the color "reads right" for the warm late afternoon. The students then took their own source material, and spent a half day doing their own paintings in evening light.
8

I am becoming enamored with the Golden Open Acrylics. I used them today (in their cool and warm pill boxes) for a demonstration for the Hemet Valley Art Association. The end result is this 16 x 20 acrylic you see here, called "Vernal Pools, Santa Rosa". Completely without reference except memories in my head.

What I enjoy about the Open Acrylics is the process of putting paint down that dries less quickly than traditional acrylics, yet still is tacky enough to have drag and blending opportunities, not quite like, but similar to, oils. The drag over the tacky parts is easily visible in the grasses. The blending is there in the distant mountains and water reflections. I talked the entire time during the demonstration, which lasted about an hour and a half. The HVAA were kind to let me come back, since I missed last month!
11

In doing these Color Boot Camps, I need to demonstrate times of day for the attendees. Here's the first step of the acrylic for backlight, and I'll present it here in stages, so you can enjoy the process as well as the finished demo. This is a 9 x 12 surface (under the workshop lights some glare upper right).

I start by saying how important values are for backlit subjects. So in putting a large dark area down and covering the canvas this much at the get-go, I've "darkened the stage" for the drama that is to come. It's a mix of thalo green and burnt umber. Those swirly marks are my "designing mind" planting the location of the focal points that are to come. More on this one tomorrow.