Sunday, 23 March 2008

Plastic Pyracantha

I painted this canvas working from the pencil drawing I'd done earlier. I'd wanted to paint it from life, but I was busy with the children all day and then it got dark.

So, after tea, while the rest of the family watched Blackadder, I sat in the corner of the living room and painted, gently rebutting my four year old daughter's kind offers of assistance.

I worked in acrylics, because my husband has a bad chest and turps fumes aren't nice to him. Anyway, I only tend to paint with oils in the garage, or in the kitchen with the back door open for ventilation. And oil paint, turps and kids aren't a good mix.

The acrylics' drying rate was good and, at the same time, bad. Good, because I could use a hairdryer to dry the under-painting. Bad, because I got mixed results when I worked back over areas I'd only painted 20 minutes earlier. I need to read up to see what I can mix with them to keep them workable for longer.

When I'd finished this painting I immediately started preparatory work on a larger painting based on the nine charcoal studies I'd done. Fortuitously I had a ready-cut piece of board measuring 50cm square, perfect for 3x3 10cm blocks with a 5cm boarder. I painted the boarder in white acrylic gesso in an overlapping grid, which echoes my garden trellis. Now I'm pondering what colour to use as a background for the blocks. I may just use the neutral pink which I used on the long canvas yesterday, or I may use a range of tones. No, I want the Pyracantha branches to be the main feature, and varying the backgrounds will just be an unwanted complication. I'll keep it simple.

Oh, the title of this post comes from the fact that I used acrylic paints which are, after all, plastic.


ilex said...

I love this piece! You're really good at composition, ma'am.

Blackadder. One of the best there is. My fave scene is Percy's giant ruff. Comedy gold.

Yellow said...

Thank you. Is was a total happy accident because of the accordian sketchbook I was working in, but as soon as I saw the branches on the right sketched in loosely, I knew it was going to be special.
I feel a series of lino prints coming on too.

Anonymous said...

I like this work. It feels like laying in the yard looking up at a branch.

Bill of Ballaugh said...

Go man with the lino prints. This is an art form I love.

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