Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Who's Watching Who?", plein air oil painting

"Who's Watching Who?", 10 x 8", plein air oil painting
I did this painting the other day on a paint-out with art buddy Zelda Nelson. This is painted on another of my new experimental surfaces, one that I found on WetCanvas by Marc Hanson where you add modeling paste to acylic gesso for texture and when dry, you add another layer of gesso, this time with some grit (he used #FFF pumice, but I can't find it here -I tried some 'no-slip' stuff from the hardware store but it was too gritty so I had to sand it down some). This surface is very absorbant and grabs the paint -I think I like the slicker surfaces better as it is easier to get the paint on in the first layers, but this surface does take subsequent layers better. Still more experimentation to do!
Anyway, we stopped by a farmers field, hopped the fence and proceeded to try to paint the cows which were dwarfed under the huge trees -to tell the truth, I didn't measure how big the cows were in comparison to the trees, but this was my sense of the scale. Now I have never painted cows before in oil (have only painted them twice and both times on location in watercolour) and it was a challenge to get these tiny, little blobs to read as cattle. I did fix them up somewhat when I got home and had access to time and a flat table. Needless to say they were very curious and actually came right up to us, snorting and mooing, and generally making this city slicker pretty nervous. Zelda has spent time on a farm so she wasn't fazed at all. They eventually got bored and went back to their peaceful times under the trees. Much to my relief...

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