Thursday, June 10, 2010

On My Easel

Alberta Blue with Poplar Leaves
20" x 24" - not yet finished

A while ago I began this canvas with painting a blue sky which is typical of this part of Alberta where I live. I then began painting poplar leaves in fall, which is what the "forest" in our backyard consists of. However, I did not count for the difficulty of covering this blue with layer upon layer of acrylic yellow paint.

Finally, after at least 4-5 glazes, I decided that this painting was destined to become "mixed media", so I stared the leaves again - this time with oil paint. As you can see, it is about 2/3rd's complete - with some of the branches to be detailed, the stems to be completed, and some leaves to receive detailed vein work. However, I am now hopeful that it will be finished before I am very old... which it might not have been if I continued with the acrylic yellow over the deep blue.

Lesson learned: leave the spaces for painting acrylic yellow leaves WHITE canvas instead of trying to paint them over an intense blue background. It will take you YEARS if you don't!!!!


3 comments:

teresa stieben said...

All my acrylic paintings have a bold colorful underpainting to give the piece a warm or a cool glow that affects the finish tone of the painting; and yes its a challenge to use a transparent yellow over a strong color. That being said I believe leaves also have a certain amount of transparency to them so touches of blue green coming through would not be a major problem. When I wish to lay yellow over a bold color I first wash in a layer of white, or a few washes of white depending on how much of the underpainting I wish to conceal or how opaque I wish the yellow to become. Then I will wash over the white with yellow. A second yellow wash can be applied to give depth to chosen areas so that there are subtle contrasts at play.

Joanne said...

Thanks for the great tip, Theresa! I will have to remember that for the next time I am painting a transparent color over an opaque... have a wonderful weekend!

Lee Ann said...

I do love this one, Joanne! I can't wait to hear how this works out for you. As you know, my painting skills are really limited, and some time ago I started a sunflower in acrylic and had the same problem, trying to get yellow to cover a darker red background. I ended up painting oil over acrylic, and it wouldn't dry! It took 25 days before it even dried to the touch! I figured it was because you aren't supposed to put the oil over acrylic and I put it in the closet :) I'd really like to get it back out and finish, but not if I have to wait a month between painting sessions!