Wednesday, April 18, 2012

From Meh to Magical - Making the Framed Painting Sing!

To purchase click here.
I had never hand-painted a professional frame before but this one begged for it, so I went ahead and did it. Initially the frame was white but it just drained the painting of all it's vitality.

This white floater frame just sucked the
life-force out of what is a very happy, vibrant and
joyful image.

So I decided that the frame needed to be painted AND that I had to prepare a 4" x 5" canvas to mount the original painting (that was done on a canvas panel) so that I could place it in a floater frame. 
A regular frame would have made it a real yawner.

The two paintings that need framing painted on canvas board. In order to be placed in their floater frames they will be adhered to 4" x 5" complementarily painted stretched canvas panels.

The cat is totally uninterested in the complexities of the project. She has total confidence I'll pull it off so why pay attention? Right? Note that I have already painted the 4" x 5" canvas at this point with matching shades of light blue and blue-greens that are in the original painting.

I prepare a palette of complimentary (or analogous if you wish) colours to paint both the canvas that the panel painting will be adhered to and the floater frame itself. I use blues and blue greens as orange just would not have worked. Golden acrylic paints are used as usual. They are the most expensive professional artist's paint out there but WELL worth it. I know it's said often, but for my paintings, I use the BEST paint, boards, canvas, etc. I can find. I want my paintings to last far longer than my lifetime!

Here I have painted the recessed interior of the floater frame a medium bright sky blue. I should mention that I sanded the frame prior to painting so that the acrylic would adhere properly.

Here is the frame fully finished with the stretched canvas painted and screwed into the back of the floater frame. The frame itself has multiple layers of paint, with the interior being painted a lighter blue-green. The darker blue underpainting gives the recessed areas more excitement. The surface and outside of the frame are a more blue shade but still retain a semblance of green, like the green/blue of a robin's egg, just slightly bluer.

And here is the final in 3/4 view, with the painting adhered to the front of the already attached canvas. 

Wallah it's done! It is much better than just a regular ole white boring frame! All in all it took about 3 hours to complete all facets of this but the result is well worth the effort. 
Tiffie, you were right!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sold! "Orange Sunset over Turquoise Waters" original acrylic painting

Sold today from my Etsy storefront, "Orange Sunset over Turquoise Waters", original acrylic painting, framed approximately 10 x 12". I just love it when someone instantly connects with my work. It's like direct mind to mind transmission. So cool! Thanks to Holly for her purchase and connection!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Can YOU Tell Which is a Kid's Scrawl and Which is Art?

Which is a child's and which is the adult artist's work?
How often have you heard someone say about a piece of art that their kid or a monkey could have done that? Well, researchers at Boston College decided to put those disparaging remarks to the test and challenged the regular, every day person to see the difference. They had people look at images done by abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Clifford Styl and others against children's and animal's doodles. The result? The majority of people actually COULD tell the difference. Could I? Yes, I picked it out immediately. To see if YOU pick up on the difference go to the article in Canada's Globe and Mail.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One EASY Way to Improve Your Colour Ability - Make Your Own Colour Wheel!

My own colour wheel on a piece of gessoed illustration board. Apprx. 12" x 12".
   I was in the middle of just starting a new painting and I wanted to check my colour palette theory. I looked up from my painting to check the colour wheel on my wall. There is no colour wheel on my wall. There were colour mixes and samples but no colour wheel. This is like basic painting 101 ( I HAD done a colour wheel in both high school fine art class and in college) but God knew where they went. So I quickly whipped up the colour wheel you see above.

   Gessoed illustration board works great. I quickly eyeballed the circle(s) and applied the colours straight from the tube and mixed. I want my colours to be modern but also capable of yielding a more subtle earth tone palette. The pigments are all professional quality Golden and Winsor Newton (no student grade paints as they have fillers and yield poor colour mixtures as a result). The colours you see above are: cadmium lemon yellow, cadmium orange, cadmium red light, permanent alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and manganese blue (not real manganese as that's pretty toxic stuff). Remember as well, that the cadmiums are also toxic and not to be ingested or inhaled (airbrushing or pastel work).

   I decided to do colour mixtures from mixing primary to primary (cad red light and cad. light yellow, perm. alizarin and cad. yellow light, ultramarine blue and cad. yellow light, cobalt blue (added as a go-between between manganese blue and ultramarine blue) and cad. yellow light to yield my secondary and tertiary colours. You can see this on the colour wheel above. Some of the results surprised me.

   Before I didn't like how ultramarine and cad. yellow light mixed to form the greens they did. However, seeing them in opposition to their natural compliments made me rethink that aversion. In constructing successful colour themes or palettes for your work (be you a fine artist, a textile artist, an interior designer, etc.) it's all about getting the colours (hues, values, saturation) right and properly balanced throughout the colour wheel. Once your colours are balanced, you can then progress onto making more pleasing and workable colour mixes. Everyone's tastes are different. You'll notice I don't have a cadmium yellow medium or cadmium red medium on my wheel. I find I can mix those hues from the cadmium yellow light, cadmium red light and some alizarin. Also different brands colours will be slightly different from each other. For example, the Golden ultramarine blue is slightly different then the Winsor Newton ultramarine.

   So take the time to mix your own colour palette. It makes your work just a little bit easier in the short and long run and you'll learn a thing or two while doing it. If you're a colourist ANY excuse to play with colour is time well spent!