“Hummingbird” contemporary figurative painting
I have begun more intense experimentation, painting and repainting the same canvas many times. I also stop and do a little technical research if I don’t get the results or effects I have in mind.
I now see that layering glazes of different hues to reduce intensity and create grays is the key to painting. I also see that the color effects I admire in other artist’s paintings are due to texture so that colors show through subsequent layers of dry brushing. This effect happens more naturally with oil paints, which have more body than acrylic. With oils, wrinkles and ridges and puckers build up cumulatively with each layer. How do I get this effect with acrylics?
I was standing in my studio at 1 am asking myself this question when I realized I had finally discovered what to do with my old studio rags. I had been saving them for some time because I didn’t feel comfortable disposing of rags that had toxic pigments like cadmium in them. I suddenly realized they were not a waste or disposal problem. Instead, they were a valuable art material.
Now I use gesso to laminate the rags onto the stretched canvas to create texture on the canvas before I begin painting. The rags are 100% cotton, so they don’t compromise the archival quality of the art, and they are much cheaper and environmentally frugal than using layers of premium oil paint.