Across the Lake

Landscape, oils
©2021, Emma Pittson, “Across the Lake”. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 10″ x 8″ x 0.5″.

Remember the scratchy stretched canvas from two posts back? By the time I realized what I was dealing with, it was too late to gesso the entire image, but since all I had managed to put down was the value study, I did something that (I think) was very clever: I just gave the canvas a few coats of matte medium. Instead of completely covering up all the work I had already done, the transparency of the matte medium allowed the value study to show through AND help to fill in all the little nooks and crannies of this extremely rough canvas.

And it worked! Granted, this is not how I would want to approach every painting. My art-making time is limited, so adding an extra step to store-bought, stretched canvases can’t really fit into my schedule. On the other hand, while researching the viability of painting on matte medium, I came across some artists who say they actually PREFER working on a coat of matte medium over gesso because the paint doesn’t get absorbed into surface as much when you use medium. Food for thought…

Second Mayowa Nicholas Study

Digital Art, Portraits
©2019, Emma Pittson, “Mayowa Nicholas Face Study II”. Photoshop.

Another digital portrait from last year (or maybe even earlier!) that I’m only posting now (woops!). This is not the first time I’ve painted this model. What can I say? The proportions of her face just seem so mathematically perfect to me!

I really miss doing portraits. I am this close to putting the call out on Facebook or Instagram asking for people to send me pictures of them just so I don’t have to fall back on self-portraits or pestering my immediate family to pose for me.

Struggling With Supplies

Landscape

Ever purchase some art supplies that fail to live up to the hype, or even sadly disappoint you? I had that experience just recently.

While stocking up on some stretched canvases, I decided to try a different brand. Royal & Langnickel stretched canvases came in economical packs of ten, and I thought “Well, my usual Omer Deserres are just fine, but maybe these are better?”, and, um… no.

I felt like I was trying to paint on burlap that had been given a generous coating of water repellent! Worst of all, I was also testing out a new set of Daler-Rowney water-miscible paints at the same time. How could I tell how the paint was behaving on such a lousy support?

©2021, Emma Pittson, “Tremblant in the Rain”. Oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″ x 0.5″.

And here is a close-up of the canvas texture, just for fun. Smooth as a baby’s bottom, no?

Ah well, at least I’m happy with how the image turned out! I had started a second painting at the same time, and because I had only put down a value study in acrylics, I gave that canvas a few coats of matte medium in hopes that it would kind of “fill in the holes” – but I think it was only moderately successful. As a final attempt to salvage my investment (and I say that with tongue firmly in cheek because I am a total cheapskate), I slapped two more coats of gesso on two unused canvases. I don’t know if I feeling brave enough anytime soon to give those a whirl, but if they ALSO turn out to be failures, then it looks like my kids are going to inherit a whole bunch of stretched canvases, whether they like it or not! 😉