Painting for September 19

september19
Face study no.11 – acrylic on panel, 6″ x 8″

I swear to you that I set out to produce something fast, loosey-goosey, and sketchy… and I crumbled and started smoothing things out again (which was actually pretty difficult to do over all that paint).

I also realized that I’m STARVING for colour, so… Barbie Pink backgrounds for everyone!

May have to re-work this piece.  It looks fine large, but as a thumbnail, well, I find that the errors are more apparent.

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Painting for September 18

september18
Face study no. 10 – acrylic on panel, 6″ x 8″

Yes, I’m a bit behind in the “30 in 30” challenge, but I have a solid excuse: I came down with the flu on Friday, and haven’t had the energy to paint since then.

Actually, that’s not entirely true.  I did start a painting on Friday, but I was a) too sick to finish it, and b) so wrapped up in the details that I felt it deserved to be done properly.  I even tried to finish it Saturday night, but there’s still so much work to be done.  You can see a WIP of it on my Instagram feed.

This also highlights a particular problem I’m having with the “30 in 30” challenge: when given the opportunity, I will always hone in on the details.  But of course, a finished portrait has to take more into account than eyelashes or the shine on the lips.  You have to pay attention to the Big Picture.  Also, each painting ends up taking WAY too long!

For today’s painting, I forced myself to keep a more loose and “sketchy” look.  I still haven’t achieved it to my satisfaction, but I’m getting there!

What works for me:

  • the limited colour palette
  • the “patchier”, less refined paint strokes
  • her blue hair, just because

What doesn’t work for me:

  • the brush strokes of the hair, but then, you know how I hate dealing with hair…

What I learned with this painting:

  • Ultra Matte Medium is great, but maybe what I really need is Ultra Matte Gel?

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Painting for September 15

september15
Face Study no.9 – acrylic on panel, 6″ x 8″

Aaaannd we’re back!  After a brief dalliance with oils, I went back to acrylics, and man, did I ever miss their optimistic and plastic-y aroma!

And I got all wound up in doing the details of her face and now I’m too tired to do the rest of the painting.  G’night, folks!

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Painting for September 14

september14
Face Study no.8 – oil on panel, 6″ x 8″

I think I’ve come to the end of my very brief love affair with oil paints.  I feel like we were pressured into dating by well-meaning mutual friends, had an astonishingly great second date, and then the whole thing just fell apart soon afterwards and we realized we were better off as friends (I think you still owe me money, though).  I wonder if acrylics will take me back…

In all seriousness, it’s not as if I don’t like this painting (poor photography aside – fresh oils are a bitch to photograph).  It’s just… lacking in oomph.  And maybe it’s a little overcooked.

 

Painting for September 13

september13
This one’s a-goin’ in the garbage, yes sirree!

Well, it had to happen eventually: I finally conducted an experiment that ended up being a near-total failure.  This one definitely put the PAIN in painting.

We have two bottles of oil (both Holbein products) that go with our Holbein water-soluble oil paints.  The first one contains linseed oil (which I have used with some success), but the other contains a darker liquid, and it’s called “Painting Oil Medium – Water Soluble Blending Oil”.  This confused me somewhat because that sounded an awful lot like what linseed oil was supposed to do.  Were these products interchangeable, then?  Short answer: NO.

First of all, even with proper ventilation, this stuff REALLY stinks… which kind of defeats the whole point of using non-toxic water-soluble oil paints, no?  Secondly, it didn’t deliver on its promise of being a blending oil.  Oh sure, it extended the paint somewhat, at first… and then it started to clot and gunk up on my palette.  Behold the beautiful results above!

Anyways, between the smell and the clumping, I ended up rushing through the painting.  My only goal was to approximate a portrait, then get it downstairs to off-gas in my garage as quickly as possible.

Oh, did I mention that I chose to paint on an ultra-smooth panel?  Well, guess what?  I now know that oil paint doesn’t like being scraped across ultra-smooth panels!  Who knew?

On the plus side, I do like the unfinished clothing and the eggshell white background.