Blue & White Nebula. Created on an 8×10 canvas mounted on board. Using a trowel, I smeared on a thick layer of white semi-gloss acrylic house paint and let it dry. Then I sprayed it with water and dropped Golden brand liquid acrylic artist paint, in Prussian Blue. It made these interesting patterns as it diffused through the water. Now let’s have some rock from the band Nebula, from the Nebula/LowRider split album:
Guitar Fifteen. 10 x 10 in., Acrylic paint, media, and varnish on canvas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A pretty awesome thing happened at Martian Headquarters last week. We spent the better part of a day studying techniques for washes of color with acrylic paint. This hands-on experience was a slice of art heaven for us, and only convinced us more of our teacher’s genius.
We have been experimenting a bit, tracing outlines of guitars over them. It’s fun, and they look nice on the wall. They seem to work because A) the washes are pretty and B) people can latch onto the concrete idea of the guitar instead of being lost in abstraction. Dig some in-progress shots of pieces that are busy drying or getting additional coats, plus some details of the washes.