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Guitar Fifteen. 10 x 10 in., Acrylic paint, media, and varnish on canvas.

guitar 15 detail 1
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You might be interested to see how we built up this painting layer by layer. Below, you can see some of the lower layers of the painting. Using Ultra White and Titan Buff in a composed arrangement, then letting them bleed together and/or separate, created a rich and varied wash. Below that layer, a thick series of washes makes a nearly solid dark purple background. Putting light colors on top of that will let the colors of our top layers shine.

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Next we blocked out the shape in white, because white paint covers better than anything else. It will get a couple coats of white and then one of black before we move to the final layers. At this point we almost went with copper for the background, but our art teacher suggested silver. Good call.

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Below, you can see our shiny new palette knife coated with silver paint and ready for action. We applied a mix of Payne’s Grey and Silver. We dipped our knife in each color separately, then blended them on the canvas. Next, we crumpled up a plastic bag and smooshed it onto the surface. When lifted, it creates an interesting raised texture. You might see interior decorators do ‘faux finishes’ with similar tools, like a sponge or rag.

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As a final step, we went along the outline with Payne’s Grey, pulling out the excess paint into the dried silver area to create something like a glow. After two coats of varnish, it truly does seem to glow in natural light.

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