Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New Brother - Oil Over Acrylic Without Worries!

I started this painting a very long time ago in acrylic. I was never happy with it, especially the background and composition, so I sawed a few inches off the bottom of the board and have begun to re-paint it in oils. I put a layer of matte medium, which has the same texture as acrylic gesso, over the acrylic painting to ensure the mechanical bond will be sufficient. Doing this gives me a fresh start on the panel. Painting over regular acrylic paints with oils is not a good practice archivally, especially over a flexible support, such as stretched canvas, as the layers will probably suffer delamination at some point in the future. The reference for this painting was obviously a photograph, however, I also had my children, who are years older now, pose in the same light, in the same position so I could get more information. I find that working from a computer screen, using several different shots, rather than a printed photograph, and using what I have learned by working from life, gives me the information I need. Photographs lie about value (either the lights or darks tend to not show the necessary detail) and especially color. Although I am going for a kind of dreamy, impressionistic feel in this piece, once this first layer is dry, I will refine the image and improve the transitions between tones.

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