I have been experimenting with different supports and media. The Jessica Brilli painting on wood got me curious about how it would be different from painting on canvas.
I could find very little information about the experience of painting on wood panels (but lots of information on how to prepare them). So I realised that I had to use trial and error to find out. I ordered some gessoed wood panels from Cork Art Supplies who delivered them very promptly.
My first effort was this painting. I painted a light ground of red ochre in oil before I laid down the painting. I found that achieving fine detail was much easier than on canvas. However, the colours didn’t behave the way I expected them too. My sky started off too dark. I found it was easy to wipe off the oil paint and repaint it a lighter shade. I found that white areas also needed a further layer once they had dried to give them the solidity I required. The painting took much longer than I am used to to dry.
I have painted in acrylics on canvas before and struggled with the speed with with the paint dries on the palette. I used to find the the paint had gone hard in the 20 minutes since I started painting. It drove me mad. However, after extensive reserach I worked out how to make a wet palette so that I could slow down the drying time of paint on the palette. I decided to use the quick-drying acrylic paint as an underpainting.
The acrylic painting was more of a sketch than a proper painting. The process forced me to simplify my images further and the final layer of oil paint gave the image a greater depth and richness of colour.
Some of the acrylic sketches really challenged me as the paint did not move and work in the way I was used to with oils. The greens and yellows were too transparent and looked messy. It was impossible to lighten colours, like the leading edge of the fence post, once they had gotten too dark.
The final layer of oil paint, however, enabled me to make my colours much more opaque and to to add much more detail in places, especially on the wire fence.
My final painting was a studies in mauves, blues and greys. I had added an additional layer of light grey gesso as a ground before I started painting.
I enjoyed experimenting and I ended up painting several painting at the same time, as I waited for paint to dry between layers. The whole process forced me to confront my short-comings as a painter of acrylics. I did not enjoy that. It made me feel uncomfortable and brought out my “imposter” anxieties. I need to do much more work in this area to develop my skills.
It was also rather time-consuming and probably not a great project to undertake in the winter months, in Donegal, when good light is in very short supply. I am not sure that I would spend so much time on the underpaintings in future, as I liked my first painting the best. Although I would where there are large areas of white. I did enjoy painting on the wood panel and I will continue to experiment with them.
16 thoughts on “Some Adventures in Paint”
I love these peaceful rural scenes.
Thank you Annabelle. I am searching out peace here, I think.
Great images. Experimenting – the joy of painting.
Thank you Goff. I had fun playing around with the paint. The fun dissapated somewhat when I wondered if anyone else would like them!
I love the Fenced In the most, for the composition. But it looks like a good new direction.
That’s interesting. It’s probably the most dynamic, in terms of composition. I don’t intend for all my paintings to be done this way, probably just the ones on wood panel.
Oh yes, I assumed this. A parallel course. I think I like dynamic things. 🙂
Looks like your experiments are all going in a productive direction. It’s always nice to have enlightening moments and be able to make judgement calls from them!
Thank you, Alli. I am determined to get the hang of the acrylics (as oil paints are not always practical for the space I am in).
Reading your post, I keep thinking about the “fat over lean” rule of painting. Maybe that’s what you were going through with painting oil over acrylic.
Ah, “fat over lean” Yes I do that with the oils but I find too many layers in oils and the paint can lose its luster, but not so much if I use the liquitin medium.
I definitely like the oil finishes.
Thank you, yes, you can’t beat oil for that final polish!
Superb images – and always good to experiment. Janet
Thank you, Janet. I have enjoyed trying out a new approach to painting.