Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Sunday...Awe is Resurrected! Oh Happy Day!!!

Notice that shiny area at the top of the canvas.
I tried to minimize the green and played down the yellow
I took this with my phone and it is fuzzy. It could be OK
this way but that yellow is still bothersome 

Easter Sunday 4-20-14. Vastly improved

My palette shows the assortment of colors and replicates those tones I used in the sky.

Over this week I made many changes to Awe. I had a difficult problem to solve with either my paint or the diamond-studded canvas that I bought 6 yards of for $250 or both! I feel like I have wrestled with the paint not behaving like it should, or perhaps I am just not used to expensive canvas. I don't know. But the problem arose when I noticed that there were areas of the sky that were shiny and others dull. I admit that I had used Oleogel Medium to make that dark blue paint brush on like it should. I get nervous when I use something like a medium because of future problems of cracking, and I don't like shiny paint surfaces, preferring a smooth matte finish to my canvas. This canvas was both taking in the paint too much and in areas it seemed to sit on the surface. After I repainted the sky, I guess on Monday, I thought it was OK but on Tuesday morning I noticed that there were brush marks and that shiny stripe at the top of the painting, that you might see in the photo of the previous post. Anyway, after much hand wringing, I decided to dive into again, and in the next few days I actually took up some sandpaper and sanded the whole sky. I have never heard of anyone doing that, but I did it, and took off the top shiny layer of paint. Then I put on more paint, by mistake I added some linseed oil to that dark blue, which was, again, not the right thing to do. I had more shiny spots and that stripe across the top was dreadful. So I got out the sandpaper again and really laid on it, and took off most of the shiny areas. This time I repainted the sky without medium getting more paint on it, and trying to blend in my brush marks. It seemed to work well, but it was still not quite right. Sunday...I started in again on it, and repainted the sky again....yikes. I was so exhausted by Sunday night I could barely function. But the painting is looking good, and there are no shiny spots this morning. I also began to work on the final go through working on the details, the flowers and the small vase was where I did most of the work yesterday. I am happy with my progress now, and feel that I am finally on the downslope with Awe! Yay!!!

You may not see the subtle changes I made, but I have reduced the green stripe significantly and downplayed the yellow above the trees. I like the green and yellow stripes, but we joke around among ourselves "don't get wed to a part of your painting" because it is often the one thing that should be removed! I finally decided that the yellow had to be minimized and it is so much better, because that stripe cut the painting in half, and was way to bright. I should have known...but I admit that I was wedded to it.

So having made these changes I am now ready to work on those details that from a distance you can't really see, but close up need attention. How much longer? Who knows. At the end of July it will be two years on my easel. I am definitely sick of it!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Awe" 3 months later

I am having such a problem with the sky! I repainted it today, making the green stripe and yellow area by the top of the trees less noticeable. I like what I did, but I am having a big problem with the way the paint is showing brush marks. Before, when it dried I had areas that were shiny and parts that were sunk in and dead looking. I think now the only hope for it will be retouch varnish when the painting is finished. Hopefully that will take care of those shiny/dull spots.

I do have more work to do in places on the painting, and a bit more touching up in the flowers, and a few places I missed in the sky. I hope I can get it finished by Sunday afternoon. I think I am on a roll now.