Web Log and Painting Diary
This painting started out as something completely different called, Witless Sacrifice.
10-11-07: The Crab Nebula
This morning I set the painting on the mantel where I could evaluate it. I had a sense of completion. This surprised me. As the morning wore on, and I waited for the time to be right for Phil to take the photo of it, I realized I did not want to add anything to it. I realized it would be a shame to "mess" it up, to use it only as background. It is now complete. A new background for the painting I started out to paint, popped into my mind. I easily found the reference material in one of my painting books. So, I changed the name of the painting to "The Crab Nebula" because that's what it is. I'm done! Phil should have the completed painting photographed and up on the site in a day or two.
10-10-07: The Crab Nebula
I worked on creating a little crispness in the cloudy, wispy formations. Although I tried the large scriptliner brush, what worked best was a #2 flat chisel firm colour shaper. It's made of material that's kind of like a pencil eraser, only shaped in a wedge. After that I used the scriptliner brushes to add various accents and colors and a little dabbing and blending with my fingers. At this point I don't know what else to do to get it to look more like the nebula. Phil wants to take some pictures of it for possible prints for the astronomy folks before I add the main point to the painting, which I've been anxious to do for a while now. Jerry Yarnell says not to piddle, play or putter. I'm starting to do that.
10-07-07: The Crab Nebula
More dabbing with a #1 round bristle brush, a #4 flat bristle brush and the larger scriptliner brush. I used variations of pink, yellow, red and orange. I also added more black to cover area that should have been black, but I misjudged where the wispy strings of cloud were supposed to be. I finished for the night when I realized I wasn't sure what I needed to do next, and my eyes seemed blurry.
10-05-07: The Crab Nebula
Again this painting session was about dabbing, even when I used the scriptliner brushes. I also used these brushes to paint in stars, some of them white, some of them a pale green, like in the picture I'm going by. I painted over some of what was there, because various parts of the wispy cloud formations were in the wrong place or were too wide. I added black to some areas where it needed to be - to do this I used the #1 round bristle.
10-04-07: The Crab Nebula
Today's session was about dabbing various colors around the canvas. I used my larger scriptliner brush - not sure of the size anymore because the number wore off. I also used a #1 round bristle brush. This is strictly experimenting to achieve the results I want.
9-24-07: The Crab Nebula
Some of the white cloudy areas in the center did not take the paint well. The black underpainting kept showing through. To get it to cover properly I had to lay a bristle brush flat into the paint and then onto the canvas, dab it and let it dry. For the wispier clouds and streaks, I again used the #1 round bristle brush, applying the same colors as before.
9-23-07: The Crab Nebula
Using a #10 flat bristle brush, I scumbled more of the thalo blue-gesso mixture into the center of the Crab Nebula. I added more hooker's green along the edges. I realized I had to figure out what brush to use along the edges - the wispy cloudy looking stuff. For some of it I used a # 6 flat synthetic bristle brush, using the top edge of the bristles. That sort of worked. I added pale yellow and pale green wisps. Next I tried a 1" flat Ebony Splendor Wash brush. That didn't work at all. I tried a #4 Manet filbert sable. That didn't work either. Thereafter, I used two sizes of liner brushes for the thinner brighter wisps. That worked some of the time. The best brush I found for the wispy stuff and the brighter streaks was a # 1 Pro Stroke round bristle brush. I used it like a liner brush, and I did some daubing. It needs layers and layers of tiny daubs and lines of paint - I guess - it's the acrylic thing of needing to paint layers to gain dimension and depth. For this part of the painting I used orange, red and Indian yellow mixed with touches of each other and sometimes white gesso.
9-21-07: The Crab Nebula
Name change. I'll see if this one sticks. Using one of my palette knives (I usually prefer using a knife instead of a brush because I waste less paint)on the palate, I mixed gesso with thalo blue in varying hues and added water until it was creamy. Taking a small amount of the paint, I started in the center of the canvas and scumbled it over and around the black, adding a little water to the brush now and then to make sure it got into all the pores. Along the edges I added a little hookers green and blended it. When the brush strokes showed too much and it didn't seem to be blending the way I wanted it to, I used the three center fingers on my right hand to work it in and around. I am working from a photo of a planetary nebula, the Crab Nebula. When it got to the point that I was afraid I would be wiping it off, I stopped to let it dry.
9-20-07: Witless Sacrifice
Yesterday I decided I didn't like the foreground so I added a stream, a water barrel and some other things. By the time I was done I didn't like it at all. So today I painted over it all with black gesso and let it dry. This evening I added more black gesso mixing it with blue along the edges. In the center I added red and blue and a little white, blending it out to the edges, trying to create a space scene for the background. Even after all that and as careful as I was yesterday to not leave ridges, I have a couple of ridges under it all. So tomorrow I will sand them off. I was able to do that quite effectively with Satori.
9-17-07: Witless Sacrifice
Using the edge of the #12 flat bristle brush, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, a touch of purple and gesso I added another layer to the clouds, making sure some areas where darker than others. Then I painted in distant mountains and trees and highlighted them. For this I used a #6 flat bristle brush and a #4 flat sable. After that I started working forward with the dirt area, lightening it. But that didn't turn out the way I wanted, so I stopped for the day.
9-16-07: Witless Sacrifice
I started by drawing a horizon line 2/3 of the way down the canvas. Using Jerry Yarnell's hake brush I added water to the most of the canvas above the line. I then added gesso in circular motions from the line 2/3 of the way up making sure it had a good coat. I dipped a corner of the brush in yellow and the other in orange, swept the chiseled edge across the horizon line and blended it upward into the white. On the palate I mixed gesso with ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and a touch of purple and worked it down from the top, blending it into the white/yellow/orange. After that, starting at the top I added ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and a little purple directly to the canvas to darken it.
Now for the bottom underpainting. I mixed burnt sienna, yellow and a little of the same blue to create an ochre color. Using a #12 flat bristle brush I worked that across the canvas starting at the horizon line on down, making sure to soften the edges. As I worked down I added straight burnt sienna to the canvas and mixed in the blue and some purple making it darker as I went down. Splotches of darker paint are good at this point. It doesn't need to be totally blended. I will let it dry over night. I've found this a good practice for the first layer so I don't accidently remove it with too wet of paint.
For this background I'm using two of Jerry Yarnell's paintings as my guides. One I have on tape. It's called Beauty and the Beast. I'm using it because it has dark clouds and lightening in the sky. The other is from his book, Learning Composition. This painting is called Prairie Relic. If you want to learn to paint, I recommend Jerry Yarnell. He's an excellent teacher.
Vi's Art Gallery |
Ad Infinitum |
About Us |
Contact Us |
Phil's Art |
Picture of the Month |
Books | Links | Site Map