Monday Night Painting ( minus the painting)

I’ve just deleted a picture because I frankly didn’t like it.  It was a nude, seated figure of a woman.

However. the canvas was primed with an acrylic craft paint in a medium brown.  I often prime a canvas with a glossy Mod Podge, which prevents the oils from being absorbed into a matte ground and allows one to go for a finished product more quickly.   To the Mod Podge, one can add a few drops of acrylic paint, a light green being my favorite.  I learned these tips from Timothy C Tyler, who taught a Workshop in Rising Sun, Indiana a few years back.  (More on that in a moment.)  This canvas was primed with acrylic paint with no admixture of Mod Podge.  It was more opaque than I would have liked and was also a matte surface.

This model was quite tanned.  I found, when painting upon that opaque brown, that I was giving her skin too brown a tone.  I could see it once I had the bluish white tones of the background blocked in.  I think it was because the true tones of her skin looked too orange on that brown background and I instinctively toned them down, only to find later that I’d taken too much gold out.  I had then to try to put the warmer tones back in.  Also, her shadows were rather olive.  I can only imagine that this was due to the cool tones of the walls, but that too tipped my palate away from the warmer colors.  I would have loved to start over on this figure and use a canvas with a more familiarly colored ground.

These painting sessions are practice sessions though.  We keep learning.

The workshop I attended in Rising Sun — gosh, how many years back was that?  2006?  — was one of a number of workshops sponsored by Dick Blick called Art Now.  I’ve googled Art Now and it seems to be a defunct program.  This workshop was not only extremely fun, it was also a very productive  experience for me.  Tim is a good instructor.  He taught me how to do hair. (I painted Girl Without a Pearl Earring and The Sun on her Face in the aftermath of that workshop.)   He taught me how to paint reflections into a wet ground and how to leave the skin’s highlights for last.  I wish he was still teaching within driving range.  He offers workshops in Italy now.

We had four days, two devoted to painting a still life, two devoted to painting a portrait.   On two of the evenings, we drove into nearby Cincinnati to visit the Taft Art Museum, which is a small gem, and a gallery where Tim was having a show.   His painting of Persephone was particularly exciting to see.

A portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson by John Singer Sargent, Taft Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH

It was at the Taft that I saw my first Daubignys.  Have I mentioned that I adore Daubigny?