Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dream Street-20x16-SOLD


note: done from the 8x10 called Charleston Traffic Jam

(post below)

this one went very easily after having done the 8x10. dont tell anyone but i'm enjoying doing these larger studio pieces from smaller ones. hey i am a plein air painter thru and thru but you can really work at getting the passages just like you want. outdoors when you paint, its mostly fast and furious "shooting from the hip". thats what gives it that spontaneous, boiled down look. in the studio with no sun moving, no curious people asking you questions or telling you about everybody in their family that drew a picture, and no wind trying to knock you down, you can think each stroke of paint out and make sure that its doing what you want it to do. ive heard it said that every stroke of paint should have the right value, color, and shape in it. WOW...thats powerful!

this pic pics up (no pun intended) where yesterdays step by step ended. i put the lights in except the sky. i'm leaving that for last since it doesnt influence the painting so much. sometimes you have to put the sky in early because it will influence the other shapes. knowing when to do this comes from many, many paintings. i hate when instructors say this, but all i can say is, you'll just know.

the key to really loose looking large paintings (i'm discovering) is using a large brush. i like to use a brush that is 12-15 brush widths across the smallest dimension. here ive pictured three brush widths across.

now, you only drop down to a smaller brush IF there's no way humanly possible to make the mark in paint you need to. leave that shape alone for now. switch to a different passage where you can keep using the larger brush. when youve done all the passages that way, then and only then switch to the next smaller brush. you shouldnt even touch a small brush until you are i'd say 3/4 of the way done with the painting. work off the end of the brush and paint with your whole arm and not your wrist until that last 1/4 of the painting. see if that doesnt help you keep it loose and accurate.

Got this question in my comments section. Feel free to ask me anything and i'll answer them in the next post.
note: no email questions please. thanks

the question was about varnishing paintings and flat spots.

A: the dull spots are from the oil in the paint sinking into the ground. i have at times painted retouch varnish over a painting to give it an even shine, if it was splotchy in this way, but 8 times out of ten i'll leave it with the semi-matte finish i usually get when the painting is done. the only time i get dull spots is if i only apply one coat of paint on a passage of the underpainting and it had alot of thinner in it. then, if the passage next to it gets thicker paint, one will look dull and one semi shiny. working a passage several times makes sure this doesnt happen, and making sure you dont use a lot of thinner will help prevent dull spots.
i love Liquin and have even used a thin coat of it (mixed with thinner) as a retouch varnish in a pinch. the Liquin thins the paint like i used to use the thinner for but doesnt leave those flat spots. try it, i think you'll agree.

i usually let the painting dry at least five days before using any kind of retouch varnish. once i tried to do it a couple of days later and the varnish softened the white and dragged a soupy film over some of the painting. not fun! so let it dry at least five days (if you dont use Liquin i'd wait longer to be safe)

Fixer Upper-9x12
contact me if you like this one for price and availability
did this one with my painting buddy jimmy c. it was midday and we both scoped out this contre jour scene of The Mistake being worked on under this delapidated building. i especially love the scrap wood pile! it was challenging and fun to depict.


Linda said...

Dream Street is just beautiful! Love the colors and your composition.

Thanks for all the information you share! It is always helpful.

mike rooney studios said...

linda- thanks so much! i loved the light on this scene and hope i did it justice. ive always loved when other people described their methods so i'm only too happy to do it too.