Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Palette Knife Painting Demo

I have been using knives to mix paint, deliver clean color to a canvas, and sometimes along with brushes in paintings.The approach to this painting was:

(1) A very complete charcoal drawing of Jason on the18 x 24 board, pre-primed with Cobalt, or Ultramarine Blue/Shocking for a ground.

(2) The drawing and the patchwork quilt background were painted in black so that it appeared as the leading in a stained glass window or paint-by-number drawing. The color story was a limited palette of Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cobalt or Ultra Blue, White, and later on Black.

I LOVE THIS TRIAD OF COLORS and enjoyed the huge vocabulary of primary, secondary and tertiary colors AND, premixing the colors, allows one to work very FAST and the colors stay BRIGHT AND CLEAN.

The application is to put on the color and remove, apply and remove, allowing for lots of under layers showing through, and immediate reapplication as the color is thin enough to keep going , on and on. I love to work fast, I love color, and I got very taken up with the movement and the multi color layering which was happening before my eyes.

Parts of the drawing fell away, and the portrait emerged. Additional colors and layers seemed easy, and the complexity of the surface was very gratifying. The drawing, and outlining, color mixing of the palette, and the paint application took two, three hour sessions. Not a lot of overworking, as the results seemed to say "finished" with no second thoughts on my part.

A fellow student took this one of me in process. I am so psyched with the Limited Palette that I plan to teach, and use it in the Taos Workshop, in June.

Here is an interesting shot, of the model (very warm colors) which really pops on this intense blue ground. Painting on grey grounds, makes for grey paintings, in my view.

This crazy approach kept my colors in a vivid, lively range, and I will be doing more with this approach for plein air landscape. Alternating with brush and knife is a totally awesome arsenal.

Coming into the homestretch, just adding color everywhere, and staying true to the fun and spontaneous nature of the application.

I will most likely push the background back a bit, as it is too close in value and intensity to the portrait. This had all the elements I needed to keep me challenged, and gratified and
NOT frustrated, or bored.

1) Clarity of drawing, and an armature to guide me, or to hide as I went along

2) Color that stayed clean, and lively, and allowed for multiple layers in a short period of time without causing mud, or overworking the surface. Can’t wait to pass on my new skills, and develop the premise further.

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