Saturday, August 30, 2008

Seascape in impasto

coastal landscape
Painting with a knife lends itself to the creation of texture that adds to the sense of depth in a painting. The thicker the paint, the richer the texture. The short open time of acrylic paint limits how long the paint can be moved around on the canvas. This requires the artist to work quickly.

For Distant Coastline, I covered the canvas with a thin layer of acrylic gesso and let it dry. Then I used a painting knife to roughly spread thick gobs of white gesso all over the canvas starting from the top. The sky and the water were painted starting from the top and the bottom, respectively, using ultramarine blue closest to the top and bottom. Cerulean blue was used closer to the horizon. With more gesso on the painting knife I spread a thin layer from the top towards the horizon. I repreated the same process from the bottom up. By varying the pressure of the knife, I was able to create the color-mixing and textures that I wanted.

By now there was enough pain on the canvas to slow down the drying giving me enough time to work the coastline. The coastline was built up with layers of dioxazine purple, burnt umber and ivory black. Very thin lines of paint along the knife edge were worked into the creamy layers of gesso. Once the outline of the coast was set, more paint was added to create depth. Finally, with a thin bead of white gesso on the knife, I cleaned out the bottom edge of the coast. This also allowed some of the land colors to be drawn into the water creating reflections.

Distant Coastline, Acrylic on canvas board, 8"X10" $90 (unframed)

1 comment:

  1. I just LOVE the juicy colour of that coastline!!! This is a beautiful seascape. Impasto adds such personality to a painting, doesn't it?