Thursday, November 1, 2012

Geeking Out On Paint

I am still re-working my stuff.  I moved on to "Break," so called because it is of a bunch of hardworking pigeons on break.

I added more contrast and detail to the birds and moved on to change the background.  I did the same routine as with "Angry."  I sanded, and lightened the background.  However, it needed to be lightened even more.  Thus, with what is becoming a habit, comes yet another desperate act, I put straight Naples Yellow onto the wet blue paint.  Mixing three colors on the canvas is a variation of mixing them on the palette.
This is yesterday's version
Now it was not just any old Naples Yellow,  It is one of my few 20 year old tubes of Old Holland paint, that I just love so much.  I use them sparingly.  It is so comforting to see those old aluminum tubes.  I bought them on sale 20 years ago.  They were around $17 bucks a tube.  They are probably $50-75 now.   They have plain labels.  No need for branding for Old Holland.  I think I have four tubes left. 

So I take a tiny dot the size of the head of a pin on the tip of my brush and drag it through the freshly painted background.  I expect it to blend, half way disappear in to the blue, but it doesn't...  because it is Old Holland.  I love painting wet into wet.  Paint does wonderful things when you let it.  However, painting this way is challenging because either the new color gets swallowed up by the first color and it takes loads of paint to get any effect at all. The usual result is mud.  What else can happen is that the first color is slightly too dry and just gets covered up, like it was never there.
 However, sometimes it works out.  It all depends on the pressure and stiffness of brush, the stage of dryness of the paint that is already down and last and most important... the quality of the paint.

Even so OH is a marvel.  OH didn't just stand up to the blue.  It danced with the blue.  It coursed in grooves of it's own next to the blue or floated on top and made music with the blue.  It was like light in a tube.  That little dot glowed against the blue and went on and on, like it was a Hogwart's magic fountain pen that never ran out of ink.
Okey,  my editor has pointed out, this fountain pen did not exist in "Harry Potter, " anywhere, but it should have. 
"Break"  This is the final version.

In spite of the fact that I loved the Naples Yellow effect, I decided I needed to darken the values on the background, especially on the left where the big bird is. But I didn't want to turn it all dark.   I can still see the effect of that yellow.  Still wet into wet, it is imparting a warmth and a glow to the added gray.  The blue lines in the middle ground are brush scratches that revealed the paint underneath and create a nice texture.  The "sky" is palette knifed.  OH paint and a bunch of the different, fun paint techniques and textures, have left me buzzing.    

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