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Friday, November 20, 2009

Gingko Leaves~Fluid Acrylic on Gessoed Paper

Here's a much better image, taken on a sunnier day. This painting tranforms with each change in light which isn't an entirely bad thing.
SOLD

Here's the completed piece with gold metallic oil paint added. It's actually a terrible photo. The lower righthand corner appears much too dark and dull, the top is too bright and washed out. I had to rely on indoor lighting as we're having a run of cloudy days. If I can get a better photo I will repost.



The second leaf has been added as have a few new colors...mostly Phthalo blue, Green Gold and Burnt Sienna. With each application of paint I allowed it to dry for awhile, then rinsed away the excess revealing some pretty cool textures.

I transferred my gingko leaves onto the first coat of gesso after it dried. I wasn't happy with the texture in the gesso so I added another thin layer over top. Fortunately, my drawing was still visible through the second coat. I traced around the shape of the leaves and added some veining using the tip of an awl, basically indenting and exposing the paper. The plan was to let the paint settle into the indentions but I couldn't get that to happen. I had hoped that the exposed paper beneath would grab the paint but it didn't. It simply rinsed away with each application of acrylic. Maybe I didn't dig down deep enough?


Lately I've been more interested in trying new techniques than in my actual subject matter. Here I've chosen something simple that has a pleasing shape to me(gingko leaves)and finally broken out my Da Vinci fluid acrylics. The good news...they're permanent when dry. :) The bad news...they're permanent when dry. :( Working with acrylics, even fluid acrylics which are similar to watercolor, is a new experience. I felt as though I was in a race with the clock to get the effect I wanted before the paint dried. On the bright side, I didn't have to worry about washing away areas that I liked (if I waited until they dried first) before adding more paint.




I'd like to share my first experiment with the fluid acrylics. It's not a masterpiece by any stretch but gave me a feel for the medium. It also gave me a chance to try adding metallic oil paint to my composition. I've been dying to try this. I added a few flourishes of metallic gold here and there to embellish the painting after the acrylics were completely dry. Between the sheen of the acrylic and the shine of the metallic paint this was a real bugger to photograph but I did the best I could. It might have been smart to spray the painting with matte fixative beforehand but I didn't think of that until just now.

10 comments:

Jeanette said...

I really like this piece Billie. What depth you've achieved! The hint of gold and greens go together so well. I can't stop looking at this...

Thanks for sharing your technique, its always good to learn from you.

Patty said...

I think your first experience with the fluid acrylics is a success! I like the addition of the metallic gold paint too.

cabap said...

great job Billy,
jan :)

Billie Crain said...

Thank you so much, Jeanette!

Billie Crain said...

Thanks, Patty! I love the fact that the acrylics maintain their depth of color as they dry. The gold paint was a fun addition. I also have a small can of aluminum oil paint I'd like to try. I need to find the right subject and colors to go with.

Billie Crain said...

Thank you, Jan!:)

Nick said...

An interesting read, Billie, and one of the great things about doing something new is the incredible learning curve at the beginning: straight up.

I recall references you’ve made to watercolor and acrylic and couldn’t understand the fear/reluctance/skepticism. Looking around here a bit I see a couple possible causes! Beware of charlatans and self-appointed gurus in this business - they are many, and often have an axe to grind, especially over the work and methods of superior artists who have actual careers. The sooner you rid that dead weight from your artistic conscience, the better.

Billie Crain said...

Hey, Nick.:) I believe I understand where you're coming from but you may be reading more into my trepidations regarding acrylics than is the case. Their permanence scared me, plain and simple. Silly...I know, but that's the way I felt. Now that I've gotten my feet wet, so to speak, I will definitely be using them more often. I loved the effects I got, even with my first go and wonder now why I waited so long.

I'll be popping your CCP DVD in and watching it once again. Love to watch how you handle the fluid acrylics with such ease and confidence.

Sandy Maudlin said...

You'll love using the fluid acrylics on YUPO, too. You can remove the acrylics with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol. Depending on how much pressure you apply, interesting teextures result where the paint's removed. Use on gessoed surface or yupo. Stunning leaves of one of our favorite trees.

Billie Crain said...

Thank you, Sandy! I've yet to work on Yupo but I love working on gesso. I was extremely happy with the textures I was able to achieve with the fluid acrylics. I haven't been able to duplicate them with just watercolor yet. What you do with Yupo is incredible so I may have to give it a try.