Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Creating Depth Through Color

I am definitely going through an experimental phase in my life. I have a book called "Acrylic Revolution" and it's great because it really goes through a ton of different techniques to try. The one that I decided to try yesterday was creating depth through translucent color fields. I have never done this before - so at first I followed the book very closely.
I used a ton of medium to seal the canvas a little more.
These are the four colors I intend to use. I really like bright and vivid colors.

I started in the corners and worked my way to the middle - I didn't pick up more paint as I moved away from the corners - but picked up more medium instead. This created a (kind of) faded effect in the center.

Then I did the opposite corners the same way - only with orange, green and blue instead.

I got sick of using a large flat brush - the strokes were really visible and after working if for a long time - I decided to use one of my favorite tools - my handy dandy sea sponges.
So - using the same colors - I went over them a few times with the sponges.
I started off thinking of doing a little girl on a windy day next to a tree - but I have so many trees. I haven't done a fairy in a very long time - so I decided that I should do one - just for fun. Here is the basic sketch.
I wanted drama in this painting. I love me a good dramatic painting :) I created contrast between her pale warm skin and the deep, dark, intense blue of her dress and wings. Hee hee - this is fun!

For some reason I really like the way that her face looks - very scared - like a child. I added some hair and details of the face - still wanting to keep things warm and balance to contrast the clothing.
I am still not sure at this point who or what she is hiding from, bbut I felt that she was trying to hide in shadow - so I added a little more darkness for her cover. There are a few little subtle sparks of light around her - because she is a fairy and I believe that they carry a light with them.

This is the completed painting - my daughter named it.

"Hiding From Humans"
Original 8X10" Oil Painting


  1. I love seeing a work in progress from start to finish. It is amazing how the layering of color gives such depth. Beautiful!

  2. Hey hun what did you mean by "Medium"?
    I know that Medium can be described in many ways such as in this link
    but you state you are sealing the canvas a lot and then also there are dots shown on the canvas.

    To help my newbie artist mind am I understanding that you used a lot of sealant medium to seal the canvas. Then you used dots (as shown in the pix) of the same medium/sealant and blobbed it on randomly and then used your colors and ran into the dots as you worked towards them to give that translucent look?

    Also what type/brand of medium/sealant were you using or prefer?

    I loved the end look and adore the name your daughter chose!

    Thanks again so much for taking the time to show your progressive works!

    Hope all is well.