Friday, January 09, 2009

The Improper Use Of Gesso

My bet is that this is NOT the way to go about doing an acrylic painting. I never was much good at rules, and will probably reap the consequences of breaking them with this one.

I forgot to show you my initial sketch, which I've been pondering over for the past few days. If you look closely at this, you can see the light outlines in white pastel pencil. I'm now "sketching" in the flower with white gesso. I really don't think you're supposed to sketch with gesso.

So here it is so far. The petals are a little bit skinny, and I'm planning on plumping them up on the second coat (of gesso, of course). Now I'm going to let this sit for a bit so I can watch it some more before I go any further. Um, and I'm waiting on you guys to give me any suggestions for corrections before I go beyond the point of no return!

Meanwhile, today was a beautiful sunny day, with clear blue skies and a light breeze. Perfect, and a very nice break from the rain, which we needed badly.** This watercolor sketch is from the rehab room from the facility where I work in Knoxville. I just love the old apartment buildings next door. The plantings are evergreen, mostly great big old viburnums, with ivy that climbs up around every corner and window, and the light on the brick in the evenings is great. I'm still figuring this new palette out, and got my greens got a little bit dark. That mineral violet can be waaay stronger than I thought, too - but I love it! (Please see the giant purple splotch. Yeah. That one. That's what I'm talking about...)

** Grammatically, it is difficult to tell if I meant we needed the rain or a break from the rain. I guess the answer would be yes. Both.
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Diahn said...

And why not use gesso to sketch? Is it in the rule book that you can't? Wait. Do I HAVE a rule book? :-) This is looking marvelous so far.

And I LOVE the sketch of that building next door - which is a great building. See - THAT is what I TRIED to do with the sketch out my front window, but I got all tight and stupid. Dang.

You rock, Lindora.

steviewren said...

I think the big splotch of purple is perfect. It grounds the whole piece. Also, I'm with Diahn. Why not use gesso. Whatever produces the painting you are thinking of is the thing to use. I had an instructor in an art class that had us mix gesso with charcoal and paint with it. I love the way it turned out...all shades of white and gray.

Laureline said...

You are so fun! What a lift to come here and read about your latest shenanigans! I think your underpainting with gesso will be great--you'll end up with a very impasto-ey painting. You can always scrape and sand off if things get too gloppy.
I hit the jackpot today, seeing one of your acrylic paintings in progress, as well as one of your yummy watercolor sketches! Happy new year, buddy of mine!

William F. Renzulli said...

The sketch is what it is, and in this case it is wonderful. It gives the viewer a "feeling" or a sense of the place, regardless of the tones, hues, or any other variations in the individual components. I'm using a lot of words to say that I don't think the values of the purple or the greens make any difference.

The gesso? Go for it!

annie said...

I'm not sure what kind of mess you are getting yourself into, but I am quite sure you will get yourself worked out of it with grace and aplomb!! LOL It does look good so far, but what do I know??

Teri C said...

What fun! Breaking the rules is what leads us into creativity and you are such a pathfinder. Love that building and all the colors.

Lin said...

WOW!!! I think this is a fantastically creative way to sketch!!! AWESOME!!! Linda! I LOVE IT WHITE!!!! And the building is to die for!!!! VRAVA!

janey said...

Lovely sketch. Looks like a castle. I can just see a handsome gentleman strolling through the garden wearing a giant pink dahlia, of course :D