Monday, May 25, 2009

TAOS STEPS - A Work in Progress

TAOS STEPS  12" x 16" Egg Tempera

I've been working on this painting, off and on, (mostly off) for about 6 years.  The medium is Egg Tempera; a mixture of dry pigment, water, and egg yolk. The technique is tedious, at best, if the artist mixes the formula from "scratch", then paint is applied, in thin transparent glazes, layering one color over another using a cross-hatching stroke. That's the "old method"'s modern technology has helped the painter by producing the medium, premixed, in a tube so there's no guess work on the formula....but the process still takes a while.  Painting on a specially prepared rigid board (Masonite), each application of paint dries in about a minute and another layer can be applied over it.  A painting session of 4 or 5 hours is about all I can do at a time.  I work on it for a day, maybe two, then set it aside allowing for the paint and colors to "shift" in value as they dry.  Currently, I have approximately 100 hours in this painting.  It's almost done; I have a little more foreground work, and will touch up the sky a little in a few places.....another 15 or 20 hours ought to do it :-)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New Painting - "Down Rush"

Last summer, I purchased several tubes of "open" acrylic paints. The term "open" meaning that they don't "set up" or "skin" over as fast, giving the artist more painting time.  I'm used to quick drying paint....nothing dries any quicker than watercolor :-) . However, my "issue" with acrylic has been the shift in value after it dries; it drops down about 3 shades darker.  Watercolor shifts "up" (lightens) about 3 shades when dry. So, switching between acrylic and watercolor is a real "brain-drain"..taking me waaaaay out of my comfort zone.  So, having said all that, I played around with them for a few days, then set them up on my shelf.......going back to my favorite medium...watercolor.

Looking for something different to do during some rainy days, I decided to give them a try again.  All week, I've been "practicing" with acrylics, making color samples and testing for the shifts in values from light to slightly darker ....and "Down Rush" is today's result. 
"Down Rush" 
Acrylic on Linen 6" x 8"
 I had so much fun that I've started another one...stay tuned!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another day at Kocian's Corner

Kocian's Red Tractor

A few weeks ago, I spent the day painting at James & Melinda Kocian's country estate. My subject that day was the red tractor parked in front of their implement barn.  The day was pretty windy and I had one hand on my shade umbrella and my body braced against my easel. All in all, the painting was pretty successful, I think.  Another paint out is planned there in May.