I wanted to get painting as soon as I returned from the last overseas trips to France and Italy. It’s great to get home but one worries that everything you’ve learned might somehow be forgotten now that you are back in familiar territory.
I grabbed the watercolour 300gsm block, which is what I paint on mostly, and decided to paint the view from our windows. The sun was getting low so this would be perfect for putting on some soft watercolour washes in a honey hue.
I started with watercolour as an underpainting and then decided to proceed in acrylic – which I didn’t own yet. A trip to my Art store followed and with much discussion brought home 3 primaries and gel medium.
I soon found that these colours couldn’t be watered down as I was used to doing, to get soft colours, so did what I could but another Art store visit would be needed.
This time I bought a Cobalt blue, some mixing white ( for soft colour without looking powdery ) and Titanium for the lights.This seemed to make a difference and I’ve slowly added bits here and there. This all in between moving into the Studio.
This week I made a real effort to complete it, as I have other work to do and I want to finish the oil done in Bruno Cordato’s Studio in Tuscany. I ‘m going to use thick acrylic to do this as to me, they act in a similar way.
The interesting things I learned was that by adding a gel medium to each colour when you start, it will stop it drying before you can are finished that day, plus it gives a slight lustre and prevents that flat dry look I’ve never liked about acrylic. I will apply a thin layer now it’s completed to give the whole surface the same even lustre.
The other interesting thing was the ‘Open Gel’ which they gave me to try, keeps the unused colours moist for weeks if you cover the palette with plastic wrap.This was great as I started the painting 5 weeks ago and used the same paint last week.
I wouldn’t say this work thrills me but as an experiment I learned a great deal. I do need to be hands-on to get how things work and I reckon I’m warming up to doing some big acrylics soon, hopefully remembering all the steps i noted so carefully from Chris in Barga.