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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Taking a Risk!

I'm posting, for the first time, a work in progress: I just started this painting today, in oil on canvas-covered board, all for your benefit...... That is, you can see how ghastly a painting can look in its early stages, and you'll be amazed by its transformation later, when finished!
I hope....
It's a bit of a test for myself, too; if I post it in this state, I shall just have to finish it and not scrape it all off and start over; again - I hope.
What I've done so far is rough in the sky with a mix of cobalt blue, cadmium red deep, raw sienna, a touch of Naples yellow at the horizon, and Flake White. The greens are mixtures of cobalt blue, Indian red, Raw Sienna, and Indian Yellow, with touches of white at this point. And I've scraped some drawing in with a colour-shaper: which is basically a brush handle with a semi-rigid point on the end of it (and can I remember what it's made of, when I most need to know? Of course I can't. A synthetic substance, not unlike firm rubber, is the best I can do. )
They're made by Forsline and Starr, and are widely available in a range of sizes and different degrees of firmness, and are somewhat more responsive than just using the wrong end of a paint brush.
I shall let it dry out a little bit, or rather allow the paint to get a little tacky, which provides a good basis for the next coats of rather thicker paint. And I may glaze transparent colours over parts of it when it's touch-dry. The scraped-in parts will of course be painted over: they're a guide more than anything else; the ridges of paint created by the colour-shaper can be quite useful in textural terms.
Although these canvas-covered MDF boards I've been using are both durable and cost-effective, I'll be looking for a canvas with a rather more pronounced weave next time: and if I can't find it, I shall have to revert to stretched canvas, which is considerably more expensive; I've never been too happy with working on very smooth surfaces, in oil, watercolour or acrylic - in oil especially, the paint tends to slide about too much. If anyone's got any idea where I can get hold of affordable canvas boards with a good "tooth", let me know. (By affordable, let us be honest, I really mean cheap - but not tat!)
Right then: watch this space - it's going to take me a week or so to finish this, given oil's slow drying time; and if a better version of it doesn't appear, you'll know I've failed humiliatingly.
Make allowances for the flash, by the way. The final version will be a better photograph, if not a better painting.
Isn't modesty an attractive quality?

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