Sunday, November 28, 2010

Painting with Opaque Acrylics on Canvas

"Jamie and Sky Compete"
9" x 12" acrylic on canvas

This is a thick application of acrylic paint on canvas, like painting with oils, my third attempt at painting in this manner in the past couple years. To achieve the color of Sky, I mixed a magenta and orange as I had no burnt sienna. For the Vermont grasses, I put down a base coat of Permanent Green Light mixed with Hanza Yellow. I came in with a feather brush and Cad Yellow Light to make the tall Vermont grasses. I went back in with a green and magenta mixture to suggest variations in the grass. The same color creates the trees and I added some touches of orange and yellow with the bristly end of a stiff brush. To create dust clouds at Sky's feet, I scrumbled Hanza Yellow with a touch of Ultamarine Blue into the canvas. Next I need to work on blending edges. It's fun to tackle a new medium and painting with thick opaque paints is very different from working with my beloved watercolor. Hallie suggested painting on Ampersand panels, so I am going to get some. I also want to try mixing media, such as watercolor and acrylic, or acrylic and pastel.

Jamie is my older granddaughter, now 16. This photo appears on a family calendar that her Mom made and is likely more than a year old. A few years ago Jamie really wanted a horse because she loves to train animals. She saw a handwritten ad for Sky, an Arabian-Quarter Horse mix, in the local hardware store. Sky was just two and half, very young for an inexperienced trainer to take on. However, Jamie's instructor evaluated the horse and agreed that Jamie could probably succeed. Sky is a sweet horse, and she has come along nicely. I believe she was about four in this picture.

Jamie pooled her money with sister Kelly and bought the horse for a very modest price. Later, Kelly was able to purchase her own horse and in fact, now owns two. The girls are not from a family that has grooms and stable hands, so they do the heavy lifting. Jamie also works at her instructor's horse farm to help pay expenses. Both girls enjoy training their horses and competing in Vermont horse shows.

14 comments:

jyothisethu said...

the innovative style of using acrylic is beautiful...

happy that you have shared the process for art lovers...

congrats...

hwfarber said...

This is really well done and lively, Mary--and you know your colors. I tend to think "this green or that yellow." I like the gessoed panels and usually cover them (or canvas) with Daniel Smith colored acrylic gesso before I begin painting. I use burnt sienna or gray to eliminate the dreaded white. Watching your progress is fun.

Mary Paquet said...

Jyothi, I decided to write about the process after seeing a comment on a blog about how helpful that can be.

Hallie, I love your tips on how to work with acrylics - as good as a workshop. Keep them coming! I will use an under painting on my next piece. In fact, when I took a few lessons from a dear friend, she started with an orange under painting and I loved the results.

Also, this is a whole new experience for me where you can easily correct and change things and you want to cover the whites. In watercolor, I have to save my whites if I want.

Kathy said...

Hi Mary - in reading your description I had a flashback to my early years using acrylics. I had the Dickens-of-a-time mastering that medium because it dried too darn fast and it seemed the more I picked away at it the worse it got. So, I had to learn patience and get on with it. It seems to me that you've learned that patience. I'll bet your grandaughter is a go-getter just like you!!

Mary Paquet said...

Kathy, I do have quite a bit of patience, so I am willing to keep poking away at acrylics and see where I go with them.

Jamie is a go-getter, academically superb, plays soccer in high school and on a competitive team, plays basketball, trains and competes with her horse, and she is quite an accomplished artist. She spent Thanksgiving weekend with a group of Vermont teams who went by bus to NYC to put on a special dinner at a shelter for homeless teens (her second year doing this). She has a lot of heart.

PAMO said...

This is gorgeous Mary! I love it!

I'm taking December off from blogging but I'll be back next year. Have a wonderful holiday. I'm looking forward to seeing your work in 2011.

Mary Paquet said...

Pam, have a great vacation from blogging. That last cartoon says you need a little break!

Charlene Brown said...

Nice treatment of what I consider a very difficult subject -- and, as always, a lovely story to go with it.

Mary Paquet said...

Charlene, the subject is challenging, but I treated it simply and made up my landscape.

Barbra Joan said...

Mary you never cease to amaze me.. Your painting is wonderful and seem to be able to handle it well.
I'm trying it , but not 'getting it' ... so difficult to switch to another medium that involves a brush. with my pencils not so..
Love that you put the story to it, not to mention the process. thanks Mary.. you inspire me as usual.. bj

Mary Paquet said...

Barbra Joan, I ask myself why I have to try it all -- guess it's a challenge. I'm allergic to oil paints, so acrylic is the closest I get. I like the mixed media idea. I will likely always be a watercolor artist first.

I've been impressed with Kathy Cartwright's use of watercolor and gouche, something Stephen Quiller also recommends. Yet another challenge to try.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, What a wonderful story about your Grand daughters and their horses. I'm impressed. And, I'm impressed by your wonderful painting. There's a plenty of creativity and tenacity running through your family!

Mahon said...

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Mary Paquet said...

Peggy, lots of Vermont tenacity runs through the family.

Mahon, thanks for checking out my blog. I appreciate your comments and have joined your blog.