Posts tagged ‘canvas’

Adventures in Black Canvas

Several weeks ago I was at the art supply store trolling for canvases for  my next project, when there I discovered black canvases stocked on shelves. I don’t ever remember seeing any primed in black before and thought that if anyone wanted a black background that they would paint the standard white canvas in black.

I purchased one small 8″ x 10″ to experiment.   I figured that using the black canvas would serve as the perfect background for my next painting in the  “Black and White and Red All Over” series.

This is my dapper dude, my first study in black canvas and was the only study I completed before launching into the final piece. One thing to note about black canvas is its ability to absorb paint color. The only color that stands out on its own against black is white. The rest of  the colors need a little help, and that typically entails painting the object first with white or a light color before applying the top color.

wpid-1403715834053.jpg

First, I outlined the drawing with a white charcoal pencil, then layered my dapper dude and the umbrella in white.  Once that dried, I painted over the white with red, making the top coat more visible.  Had I painted the red directly on the canvas the color would have been lost.

 wpid-20140623_141926.jpg   wpid-20140624_144855.jpg

The next painting was a little more ambitious. I purchased a 12″ x 16″ black canvas for my new piece “Red Hoodie.”  “Red Hoodie” was inspired by a small digital sketch that I drew on the iPhone that was actually a picture of a yellow hoodie.   I always wanted to a create larger version of that so this was my chance.

I sketched everything out in a charcoal pencil, although not before erasing it a million times until everything was laid out to my satisfaction. I was worried that the charcoal would smear and never come off of the canvas but I was able to erase a lot of the sketchy lines with my big white eraser.

wpid-20140709_115019.jpg

I tinted the white with a little black and painted the first layer of  the red hoodie in white, leaving the negative space of the black to define the sleeve and pocket.  To be honest, I really liked the hoodie in white because of  the contrast, and that it gave the piece a bit of comic book vibe.

wpid-20140712_112747.jpg

Then I tinted the red with a black because I really didn’t want the red to be so bright.  This worked out beautifully.

I drew the rain in chalk trying to create long thin lines like I see in the comic books.  Using a rubber tip blade with a long handle ( I don’t know what it’s called), I dipped the edge in paint and did a stamp effect on top of the charcoal lines.  Prior to that I did a few practice runs on a separate piece of paper but it still took me a while to get it right.  When I applied it to the canvas some were a little messy so I just used some black paint to clean up some of the lines.

Lastly, I added the splashes to the back and sides of the hoodie, signed off on it and called it a day.

wpid-20140717_175323.jpg

“Ninja” Please, You are Finished! My Winning Battle Against The Canvas.

After three attempts, I finally finished my acrylic painting, “Ninja” on my birthday. Yes, two canvases died in the making of this piece, thanks to my lack of experience with acrylics.

This  is a seemingly violent departure from my other work which is typically joyous, gentle and peaceful.  “Ninja” is part of my on-going series called “Black and White and Red All Over” that I started awhile back and includes my two other pieces, “Chat Noir” and “Angry Kitty.”

Ninja

The look is pretty dramatic with the stars zipping through the air, as they make extreme contact with their targets.  It reminds of a scene in an action movie where everything is happening in slow motion.  This is where my love of comic books is evident.

I worked in layers by first tinting the white paint, and then applying it to the entire canvas.  Afterwards, I applied a second layer of white horizontal streaks for some added texture and to make the stars appear as if they were flying at light speed.  Then there was the application of nerve-wracking details such as the black streaks around and behind the stars, followed by the red splatters. On my second attempt, the splatters ended up being my demise because I didn’t dilute the paint and it resulted in huge clumps on the canvas.  I was smarter this third go round.

So yes, “Ninja” was a rough customer but I persevered and completed it.   This was the one time where I felt that creating art was very much like a sparring match.

Yes, I am still among the living!

So I must own up to being a total slacker on the blogging front.  So much for writing consistently.  Things have been pretty busy lately.

A couple of weekends ago, I went to New York to support my sister’s solo photography exhibit in Brooklyn called “Visions of New York.”   It was a great exhibit and I want to post more about this later because there are some great things I’d like to share.   She did an awesome job and worked her tail off.  I am very proud of her and feel inspired to do something similar in the future.

I elected NOT to do the All Arts Market in July because I needed the time to create new material however, I’ve signed up to do it for August17.  That will be the start of a crazy weekend because the following Saturday, I will be attending a church retreat most of the day, AND playing in a volleyball tournament that starts that evening.  I am nuts!

Next month, our church will have its annual homecoming event.   We have a Visual Arts Ministry to which I am the coordinator of.  I am rounding up artists (both members and non-members) to see if they would like to display their art during that weekend.  Last year’s display display was a success.  This year I expect more artist participation.

Yesterday I was in my studio (that still sounds strange to me but in a good way) working on my “Black and White and Red All Over” series.  This time I am painting individual throwing stars on small 6″ x 6″ canvases.   I will do a total of three and then follow up with painting three stars on a larger separate canvas.   Here is my work in progress on the first one.

Whew!  With so much going on I wonder, “What am I thinking doing all of this stuff?”   Well, I’m under the impression that I can do it ALL!!

Playing With Acrylics

So in my previous post I wrote about creating a series of works in black, white and red; AND that I was going to  attempt this using acrylics on canvas.  This is a bit of a challenge having done this only once.  That was several years ago when my sister and I completed a painting project together for our mom that proved to be unsuccessful, although not for lack of trying.

I’m actually having a good time with acrylics and have started my first piece in the series. My little gray muse in the photograph below was the perfect model for “Chat Noir.”

Here is the prototype painting that was going to be the final except for the fact that I made too many mistakes.  I experimented with the curtain pattern giving each curtain panel a different design so I could determine the one that I wanted to use.  Then I created the gray for the wall at the bottom.  Yes, I know gray is a new color however, the loophole in my little rulebook  is that it’s made from black and white.

The second piece is a little cleaner although I think I drew the cat’s anatomy better  in the first one.   I do like the definition and the outline of the head better here.   I tried retracing the image from the first drawing but that didn’t transfer well from the tracing paper to canvas, so I had to redo it.  For the straight edges I used masking tape this time.  I  also lowered the curtains to hide more of the white space from the window.

I hope to complete this piece by the weekend.  I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible.   I’m not ready to produce anything with a lot of detail right now.

Here’s  what I like about so far about painting on canvas:

The coverage.  You can cover a lot of area on canvas by spreading the color around with a paintbrush versus coloring feverishly on paper with pencils.

The colors are vibrant.  Acrylics make the work look bolder, something that I haven’t been able to accomplish with water color pencils.

The canvas is ready to hang without having to be framed. This is a plus because framing is still a pain in the rear even if some frames are easy to assemble.  It’s just another expense that eats away at your profit margin.  Canvas is also much lighter too.

It’s easier to correct mistakes than I thought.  Some of my straight edges have bled  a little bit.  After my “mistake” dried I dabbed some white paint over it and all was well with the world.

Durability.  Acrylics are less likely to fade then water colors or water color pencils.

And what I don’t like:

The mess.  To my credit I’ve managed to not get paint all over myself or other areas.  Cleaning brushes gets old though.

Working the color into the canvas.  Yes, you can cover more area with color when you paint but still you have to continuously apply that color to the canvas in order to capture a rich, even tone.  This may mean mixing more water with your paint to achieve the right consistency.   Now I know why large, detailed paintings on canvas are expensive.

Trying to determine the right brushes to use.  A while back I did some research on the proper brushes but again, that was a while.  There are so many types of brushes to use, it’s kind of overwhelming.  I discovered that the medium-sized round brush is my friend.  It’s like an over-sized version of my brush ink pen.  I like the pointy tip to achieve the finer lines or flattening it out for more coverage.  A large flat brush is good for covering large areas.

Straight lines are harder to paint than curved lines.  Painting that ball of yarn was easy. Painting the window panes and the ledge, not so much. You would think it would be the opposite.  I had to keep my wrist steady as I painted  even after I taped along the lines to maintain the straight edges.

I’m looking forward to completing “Chat Noir” this weekend and then onto the next project and blog post!

Sketches: Black and White and Red All Over

I wish there was enough time to make everything. There are just so many ideas that pop into my head and I can’t draw them fast enough.

I am attempting this new series called “Black and White and Red All Over.”  Personally I think this is crazy for me to do since I’ve got other projects that require my attention including the ongoing “Twelve Days of Christmas ” and “The Veil” from my earlier writings.

Is this normal behavior for artists to be so scattered?  I typically like to start on one project and stick with it until it’s finished.  Oh, to be able to work on my art full time!  It just doesn’t seem fair does it?

Anyhey,  in an earlier post, I talked about working more in black and white with a splash of one color.  “Mercy” is the most recent example of that.  This time I  decided to throw some red in the mix which is a little out of the norm for me.  I needed the change-up.  When I look at my body of work, I can see that the predominant colors are green and blue.  Personally I think green is perfection because it’s calming, soothing, and ever-present.  I call it my spirit color (although I am far from perfection for sure).

Red on the other hand is energy, it is fiery, aggressive, my natural opposite but  I am still a fan of it though.   In my opinion,  red, black and white produce the most striking color combination.  Individually these colors are all strong in their own right.

Now here’s the kicker, my goal is to put this series on canvas.  YES, canvas!  I don’t have a clue about painting other than painting the walls in my house or dishes from the pottery painting places that are all over town.  I went to Hobby Lobby last week and bought some black, white, and red acrylic paints, brushes, one large canvas and one tiny canvas to practice on.   I should have researched this a little more but sometimes it’s just nice to do some free experimentation.

Here  are my preliminary sketches that I drew with Sharpie pens.  Pretty simple.  Not trying to do “The Last Supper” especially not on canvas.  One of the sketches that piqued my interest was that of  a black cat.  I am really thinking about doing a sub-series of the black and white series called “Chat Noir,” meaning “Black Cat” in french.  “Chat Noir” would be the one getting into cat-like shenanigans such as clawing a sofa to pieces, hissing and rearing up in arch-like formation at the sight of a dog, hunting birds, or getting stuck in a tree.  There’s lots of material to work with, especially since I own a cat.  I plan to do my best to avoid being cutesy as you see with so many cat and kitten pictures.  Chat Noir” should have an attitude, pretty much like most cats.

After creating some sketches of an apple, I painted one on the small canvas.  It was a fun exercise.   The red paint wasn’t applied as evenly as I would have liked so that will be something to focus on in the future as I paint on larger canvases.

We’ll keep you posted on how all this goes. I think it’s funny that now that I have been thinking about creating works in red,  I see the color in my surroundings now more than ever before.

Tag Cloud