Saturday, 30 May 2015

TODAY AT ANCIENT HILLS WINERY - TESTING ACRYLICS PLEIN AIR



ANCIENT HILLS
12" x 12" Deep Wrap Canvas
Atelier Interactive and Golden Open

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This is the (almost) plein air painting that I completed at Ancient Hills Winery today, I didn't have good conditions to create an image of it, but you get the idea. Why I say almost plein air is because I painted it sitting at a picture window with the door open. I even have the mosquito bites to prove it.

I had several goals with this painting:-
1. To mimic the natural colour of the landscape
2. To soften my edges
3. To create a recognizable local view.
4. To limit my palette and work only with Atelier Interactive and Golden Open acrylics

The focal point is the tallest hill and the trees below it. In the painting they are better defined than in the image. It was a compositional choice to make the lower right corner uncluttered although it has heavy texture created with soft gel. The top line of the poplars point down towards the hill and there are subtle diagonal reflections throughout. Tomorrow I will probably add a touch more light coloured texture to the bottom right and touch up the skyline.

As for recognizable, the lady that owned the property behind the poplar trees was thrilled to see her land in a painting and the winery owner loved the colour palette.

The most important colour choice was the blue of the distant hills, which set the mood for the whole painting. Complementary cadmium orange was the perfect choice for under-painting and foreground, with more delicate mixes of flesh and various yellows as highlights. The sky is softly painted and slightly moody: Many visitors pointed out the sky as one of their favourite areas of the painting.

I did find the Golden Open and Atelier Interactive much easier to work with for plein air than Golden and Liquitex Heavy Body. The Atelier has less tendency to create hard lines and lift when painted over before dry. The Open feels a lot more like oil, with a soft buttery touch.The disadvantage to these two paints is that you have to wait longer before applying varnish, which would add vibrancy to the finished work.

I will place this for sale at Daily Paintworks and I hope to post a better image in the next couple of days.