Tag Archives: Canvas

New Painting Started

I started to paint another Native American dancer this week.  The photo was taken at a Pow-wow in September, 2010.  The work is 36” X 48” and my second largest work to date.

I rolled and scraped three coats of gesso on the canvas, then scaled up the photograph onto several sheets of Bristol Board.  I transferred this drawing to tracing paper, and laid the tracing paper over the canvas.  I made a piece of homemade carbon paper by rubbing a #2 pencil all over a small piece of tracing paper, and lay this under the larger tracing paper.  I used a #2 pencil to outline the large areas on the tracing paper, moving the “carbon paper” along as I worked.  Light pressure will produce  a light pencil line on the gessoed canvas.  I don’t use commercial carbon paper because the imprint will bleed through most acrylic paints and ruin it.

I started the background and dancer by blocking in opposite colors of the sky and clothing.  This under painting improves the final color as the work progresses.  The dancer has a pink shirt and buckskin colored pants.  There are only a couple of small feathers, rather than the many feathers of the last Native American dancer I painted (scroll down to see that one).  I’ll add more photos as I make progress.

Iris Painting Complete

I finished the painting of the iris.  It is on a 20 x 24 canvas, and it is a departure from my usual style of painting.  I started with a canvas that had five coats of gesso spread on with a plastic spreader, sanded smooth after each coat was dry.

I used a series of very thin washes to build up the main flower, and a series of thin scumbles for the background trees and grasses.  I finished it off with several coats of clear acrylic matte finish.  I don’t think I used more than a tablespoon of paint for the whole work.  It has a silky smooth feel to the surface.

Working on an Iris

I started a painting of an iris that I photographed at the Ingram Senior Center.  I am using an ultra-smooth canvas with five coats of gesso rolled and scraped on.  Each coat was sanded after it was completely dry.

This is a departure from my usual method of painting.  I am applying very thin coats of acrylic paint on a pure white canvas with no under painting.  The white of the canvas is reflected through the thin coats of color.  I hope it works out well!

More New Student Work Added

Emerging artists Jim S., Deb T., Tom L., Bob H., Dave G., and Roland M. have their work in progress added to the Student Works page.  The class size is at eight folks and the paint is flying onto the canvas in grand fashion.  Here are thumbnails of the work done by these folks this week.  Check out these and other photos on the Student Works page.

Surface Preparation for Masonite Panels Added

I just put the instructions and photos of how I prepare Masonite panels for painting. There are two parts to this process. The first produces a surface with thousands of tiny peaks and depressions; the second step takes this a little further and produces a velvety smooth surface with microscopic pits that is great for washes and scumbles. This all looks and sounds like a lot of surface preparation, but believe me; it’s great to paint on.

The canvas preparation steps will be coming in a week or two.

Hello world!

Welcome to my new web site. I work in acrylic paint and enjoy painting a wide variety of subjects. I began painting in 1979, starting with private lessons with a local artist. I soon went off on my own and began developing and improving my art through trial and error. My early work in acrylic was primarily still life from objects at hand and from my imagination. I was one of the original members of the Greater Salem Artists Association and continue to enjoy membership with the group. I began entering local art shows in 1982 and did well in those shows. I took a five year break from painting from 1990 to 1995.

My recent works are from photographs of wildlife taken while kayaking, and I continue to enjoy still life work. Recently retired, I volunteered to conduct a painting class at Ingram Senior Center in Salem, New Hampshire every Tuesday morning. The class is limited to eight folks (now full) and is a mixture of new and experienced artists who want to learn how to work with this versatile medium.

Please return to this web site as I continue to improve and expand the gallery. Soon there will be a section which will show some of the processes and methods I use to prepare the canvas or masonite grounds for paint, lay out the subject, and develop the textures and effects shown in the gallery.

I am also a model shipwright and will expand the gallery of ship models shown here on this site. And, last but not least, there will be a gallery of Paper Mache’ sculptures I produced during the 1980s.

Enjoy the paintings, and tell a friend about the site.

Sincerely, Don