Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Painting....Simple, but not easy

Hello dear readers!  In the last couple of posts I've spoken about the process I go through when contemplating a painting. It usually starts with a color I see clearly in my brain, and which continues to haunt me.  Lately a particular shade of blue has been haunting me. When this happens the need to express the color becomes palpable.  I don't know why I do what I do, I just know that I have to.

I humbly present the first successful painting I've done since moving to my new place. It's simple, but not easy.  In fact, the more simple the painting, the more exacting. As you know, much consideration goes into the color. Then there's the mixing of the color. Then execution. In this case, I was going for perfection, although allowing imperfection can be fun too, but that's not what I wanted to achieve here. I did not want brush strokes, nor variations in the color. Indeed, the color itself is the art. This is a great way to experiment with color psychology.

I'm going to toot my own horn here - it is too bad that I am not healthy enough to work as a professional interiors painter, because I am great at it.  So it occurred to me that I should use the same technique on a canvas that I would on a wall.

If you want a perfect, flat surface it's important to remember that a lot of paints are self leveling and look completely different dry than they do wet. I think Behr paint in flat finish is the most perfect paint there is, especially if your walls are in bad shape. And Home Depot are masters at mixing custom colors (although I mixed this color myself using paints from Pat Catans.) Wish I could say this is a sponsored post, but it's not. :) These are just my humble opinions based on years of experimentation.

The key is patience and restraint. When we are trying to accomplish a smooth surface, the natural inclination is to keep working the paint, going over areas we've already done and lobbing on more paint. Like I said, most acrylics are self leveling, so not only is this unnecessary, it  can be counterproductive. The way to accomplish a smooth flat finish is to put a whole coat on the canvas, in a thin layer. Don't go back over areas you've already painted. keep moving forward in one direction. Again bear in mind that paint looks very different wet than it does dry.

Put a thin layer on the canvas (or vase or table or whatever you are painting), without stopping and without retracing your steps. Then, patience. Let the coat dry thoroughly before applying another coat. Fortunately acrylic dries quickly. Then apply another coat, same way, sparingly, always moving forward, never back. Again let dry thoroughly. You might be surprised after the second coat dries, you might be done. In fact, I have never had to give walls a third coat, even when painting a light color over a dark.  Repeat the coats the same way until you are satisfied.  For this particulsr canvas, after the third coat dried, it was done and perfect.

I love most art, but the art that I find most aesthetically pleasing in my place is very minimal. And like I've said many times, it's simple, but not easy.

Untitled, 2016, 36" x 36", acrylic on canvas

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