Thursday, March 16, 2006

Garden Painting Day 4 : Real Canvas and Acrylics

Yesterday I made it to Michaels to buy my 36" x 48" canvas. I bought the one with the deep (1-1/2") profile and no visible staples, so it will be hung without frame. $100 minus the 40% off a single item coupon. I also bought a set of acrylics. I chose the Grumbacher Academy Acrylics series, it seemed to be of good quality, real pigments not hues, yet still reasonably priced. I picked up the box of 6 basic colours (Burnt Sienna, Grumbacher Red, Raw Umber, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium, and Ultramarine Blue). I thought I had read that these were a non-toxic series, yet there is a warning on the box about the Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine Blue pigments. Since my mom was with me, we were also able to get 40% off the box, regularly $28. I also picked up 3 additional tubes : the Hooker's Green, Thalo Yellow Green, and Mars Black Hue. These were on sale for 25% off the regular price of $6, so $4.50 per 3 oz / 90 ml tube.

Last night, I already started the background of the painting. I decided to use a colour straight out of the tube, not mixed, for the background, thus the Hooker's Green tube. I was pretty pleased with the texture of the paints, the box says "classic buttery texture", but it's more like a soft margarine. Smooth to apply, and doesn't dissolve much at all when the brush is dipped into water. I mixed it with a bit of water to spread it easier. I was trying to achieve full coverage of the canvas (no glaring white spots), but with a fair amount of variation in the colour density, and smooth texture (no brush strokes). The result of yesterday's efforts is shown in the photo.

I haven't decided if I want or need an easel. The two kitchen chairs are working fairly well for this, so far. Tonight I flipped the canvas upside down, to finish the bottom corners and edge (which I am painting also). I also filled in some of the lighter areas, and softened the lines of my brush lines. The two chairs may be fine for the actual painting, too. For the bottom part of the painting, laying the canvas flat on the table may also work. The lighting is not the best (since I'm always working at night), but again it may suffice.

See also Garden Painting Day 3 : Trial Canvas, New Brushes.

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