Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back to Painting

I felt like someday I'd be back here, maybe after I'd exhausted all drawing media, but I didn't see it coming this soon. Short story: I've been offered a wall space in a new restaurant, but the catch is that my work has to be up by the 6th. Yes, in a week. (Wow, a week!) Yet, despite that soon-approaching deadline, I decided that rather than use something I already had, I wanted to take advantage of the pressure and make something new. In a medium I'm uncomfortable with, using a subject I have little experience painting or even drawing,...and I've decided to do TWO 24" x 30" pieces of them.

Day one had me in tears: My practice painting colors were all over the spectrum, and what made it worst was that they were all in the harvesty hues that I hate the most. On top of that, my initial concept of pastel over acrylic was just not going to work. Blech, look!

Day two: I started working on the actual canvas. Re-did the initial painting of the flower both A) in a much free-er style (possibly because this was my third time drawing it), and B) in a less-obtrusive ochre (versus the purple I used for the first draft), and boy did that help! Then I remembered how in painting class we did something with a monochromatic underpainting, and then lay colored glazes on top, so I started shading it out with yellow ochre and raw umber till I got what you see at the top.

Day Three: Tonight. After 6 hours on my feet at work and then walking home in the rain, I can't say I really felt like working on my painting, but I knew I had to. The plan was to get a lot of glazing done, to get it out of its brown state, but all I ended up doing was mixing a bunch of colors and storing them in my Sta-Wet palette, which is a really cool thing for acrylic paints, but my sponge totally disintegrated when I wet it this time! I wonder if the paint that had been in there for a couple years now had anything to do with it.

I am no good at color-imagining and -mixing. What had happened in the past is that I just end up having to use whatever I happened to come up with. Kind of like how I cook. But this time I've vowed to be better! No more settling for unfortunate colors like this Barbie-skin-gone-wrong:

By the end of the night I had a couple colors tucked away into the palette:

They look pleasant enough; I just hope they're actually what I need/want! I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning.