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Saturday, June 16, 2012

How to Paint Abstract Paintings 2 or "I'm getting a headache!"

This one is already getting complicated!!! Ok, here goes: The "start" from yesterday began as gestural movement across a sheet of w/c paper with all kinds of drawing media - charcoal, sauce, india ink, graphite sticks, graphite powder, etc. Then water on a flat brush smoothed out some of the charcoal, blended some water soluble graphite, smeared some ink and created various greys. Then, soft pastels were used to play with colour. I didn't like the colours too much (maybe I should invest in some more pastels, lol) but it gave me an idea of not just value contrasts and movement, but warm and cool areas. I love to work with a shallow picture plane, not having too much of a feeling of depth, but I like to weave things throughout the painting, such as lines that travel in front of or behind and reappear. I like to give the eye lots of things to connect and the brain things to puzzle out, so suggestions of words or runes are also in there. The problem I run into at the beginnings of this kind of process is that I like some of the things that happen in the beginning too much, and the dilemma I face is how to continue with the process without losing all the stuff I love in there. This is worst at times when I haven't painted a lot, like this past year with this massive cross-continent move and my myriad of medical "issues" (yeah, yeah, I know, lots of excuses!)

So, I'm forcing myself to dive in, bullying myself into pushing through. After removing as much of the pastels as possible, I still have warm and cool areas, but not so blatant. I'm going to enhance the cool, slowly, working with combinations of cerulean blue, payne's grey and black and white. I can always glaze later to create more variation to the blue, or just paint another layer. Need to strengthen the blacks. Need to work in such a way that peeks of the lovely backgrounds still show through, but need to be brave enough to cover over - not get picky or precious - that's tough!

I've spent an hour on it and have a headache! This one really hurts! Will really have to force myself to work on it daily. This one needs to be done! Gotta get some coffee.

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