Tag Archives: Gesso

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.

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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!