Acrylic on mat board, 27 x 13″
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I hadn’t posted anything for a couple of days because I’ve been working on this painting instead of daily sketches. I was determined to finish and post it today, and did, even though the photo isn’t great. I worked from a watercolor I did on site, and a bunch of photos I took of this odd stinky plant on a walk a few weeks ago. I did some sketches for composition, trying to make sense out of all the crazy foliage happening in the photo and to decide what to emphasize, eliminate or move. I did a couple of small value studies too. Then I just had at it, working very loosely in acrylics. To check values, I set my camera to black and white and took a picture. I could immediately see I need more light areas and where. I painted in layers, using thickened and thinned paint in many layers and glazes.
My main goal with this painting was to experiment with trying to make acrylics work like oils (except without the toxic solvents, lengthy clean-up and slow drying time). There was a ton of learning that went on as I worked on it.
I’ve done a lot of reading on acrylics, much of it contradictory or out-of-date information but finally found an excellent new book called “Acrylic Revolution” by a Golden Acrylics (the brand I’m using) working artist named Nancy Reyner. It’s the book on acrylics I’d been hoping for. Detailed up to date information about how to properly work with the various mediums and paints to do whatever you could dream of doing and more. It’s a great book and tomorrow I’m going to experiment with some of the techniques in it to try to better understand how to do some of the blending techniques and ways to get soft edges, to be able to work more like oils.
Update: This is a Dragon Arum plant (Dracunculus vulgaris), not as named in the title of the post.