Testing a new technique

I like using layers of tracing paper and transferring the drawing to a gessoed art board the way I did in Nightwatch and Light Tamer. It can be a bit tedious.

I got to thinking about that. The gesso is a flat acrylic paint. I also have an acrylic clear semigloss. So this piece is a test. I have drawn the sketch on Bristol drawing paper. It is my favorite paper for graphite. Then I put on a couple of coats of the clear acrylic thinned with water. The paper buckled a little but I picked up some black and white oil and scrubbed in a background.

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Background Color shift

The blue I scrubbed into the background was driving me crazy so I have gone back over it with some purple. I am trying to pull my color scheme back to the reds and greens. In the foreground I am trying to find the colors of the flooring the woman is standing on.

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Background filled in

Now I have most of the little shapes of sky and water in the background filled in. I may adjust the colors later but I think I will move forward to the wooden bridge structure. The trick will be to set it apart from the trunks of the Cypress trees.

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Nightwatch background 1

Now it’s all about putting the paint down.

I start with the background filling in all those little shapes farthest from the viewer’s eye and fade the color from the light of the moon to black. Taking a second look at what I have so far, the blues seem a little too bright and I may go back and mute them later. For I just want to cover some ground and the spaces filled in.

My basic palate for Light Tamer was blue and orange so on Nightwatch I planned to spin the color wheel and go with red and green. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to color the moon but I think it will be a good opportunity to make some color harmony.

I’m using a little Liquin to loosen up the paint so I can scrub it in then after a little drying I blend with a soft brush. I can clean up the bleed over later with some solvent.

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Nightwatch Final Sketch

I’m bouncing back and forth between the Hummingbird painting and the Nightwatch oil painting. I put three hours into drawing a background then tore it off and threw it away. This morning I started scratching this idea out and it felt like it was working so I ran with it. Here is the final sketch. I’m going to transfer it to the painting board, take a deep breath, and start laying down some paint.

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