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The Blue Herons
The Blue Herons. Finished. A difficult painting to photograph due to glare from the metallic leaf.
Naples Titanium Chart Naples Titanium PBr24 chart.
I have been searching for a substitute for yellow ochre in my palette and have been thinking of using Naples Titanium, a hue of genuine Naples yellow. Yellow ochre does not like to be shiny when it dries unless it is heavily modified with additives. It does not dry in a reasonable amount of time either so I was hoping that this Naples Titanium Pbr24 pigment would make a better paint but surprise! It's even worse:( It is much slower drying. I've been trying to simplify my palette and am trying to choose pigments that are easy to make into good paint. Goodbye yellow ochre and Naples titanium...I've deleted that colour from my palette:) I feel much better now. I'll post more about my palette and its evolution in future "At the Easel" postings.
Blue Herons 5
At this stage I have finished working in the grasses and in the water areas. I have built up the herons with more specially modified acrylic paste so that they now stand out properly. They will be painted in a realistic manner to honour these amazing birds. I will be working in the shoreline area as well. This is where the stretch medium modified paint is first applied and there is always a blob of this paint left behind after the paint has been stretched out. It can be brushed smooth or scraped off but I was hoping to create a special surface for the shoreline to be created from.
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I've continued painting in the grasses and am starting to refine the water area. The herons have been obscured by the painting process but they will be built up and well defined eventually. This is somewhat of an experimental style of painting for me and so there tends to be back and forth adjustments ongoing as I explore my options. I have plans for the waters' edge but that is to be worked on after the water area.
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Progress is being made on the tall grasses. I am using the Stretch Medium to give the paint stringiness and it also creates a built-up texture.
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The paint over the herons must be brushed smooth so as not to obscure them. They will be painted in soon. You can see that the stretched paint has quite a bit of thickness. I want the painting to be unusual and hope it will draw people in.
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This is a mock up of some of the local rabbits around my yard. I snap pictures of the wildlife and foliage around me and use them in my paintings. The beauty of todays modern smartphones is this ability to capture an image very quickly, before it's gone! Wildlife doesn't wait around for us to paint them.
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More leafing has been applied to the water area. Along with the gold zinc-copper leaf is some pure silver leaf. The silver leaf is much more fragile but I'm not trying to be perfect, just get it on. All of this leafing will tarnish over time but it's not a problem because I like the tarnished appearance better than when new. The zinc-copper develops a variegated appearance, still shiney. The silver is new for me so we'll see how it becomes over time but I suspect it will dull down like old silverware. After the leafing is applied and the adhesive has dried I seal it with a thin coat of the Hybrid Paint Medium. This will hold off the tarnish for a couple of years.
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This is a new painting, Blue Herons, hopefully for a lady who takes her dog to the dog grooming shop we both use for our pooches. She missed out on another Heron painting which was on display at the grooming shop. Another customer bought it which is what happens sometimes. I will display this one in the shop and see if it gets any bites, much like fishing:)
After the drawing stage I block in the basics using a wash. There are no paint thinners used in this wash and yes, it is a wash using oil paints. The Wash Medium has a very small amount of oil paint mixed into it. It is fast drying and permanent once it dries.
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Taken a few years ago, this is my main easel, there are 2. One is for smaller paintings. That's Bubbles our dog in the laundry basket. He now has a huge doggy bed in that spot. Bubs weighs 10 lbs. and he's a comedian.