What I Did on My Summer Vacation- Part 1

JULY 5, 2010

My re-acquaintance with acrylics has turned into a romance that has allowed me to work- fume free- in a manner that mimics watercolors when I wish and heavier duty painting when a thicker application and plasticity is called for.  Acrylics also allow you to work over unsatisfactory sections almost immediately- a welcome change from the long waits with oil paints, regardless of the speed of the drying medium mixed into the paints.   It’s been great fun and I look forward to the possibilities that might spring out of it.


I’ve been addressing my personal commitment to creating as many worthy additions as possible to the USAF Art Program due at the Society of Illustrators by the end of July for the formal presentation later this year in September.  Besides a number of drawings, many of them posted here on Drawger, I’ve carried the sketches and photo reference to larger scale images in color paintings.  Dry mounted on acid free board these sheets of either large size moleskin pad paper or heavy weight watercolor paper become the perfect- well, near perfect- surface to draw on before proceeding to the painting part.  I say near perfect surface because the fact is that 300 lb Arches paper, unlike evena good quality bond paper,  is not cheap and getting to a certain level of relaxation with the drawing phase requires quite a few sheets to be tossed to the side as failed starts.  Drawing on the spot and trying to replicate a reportorial style in the studio are two different animals.  Studio work almost invariable, and somewhat involuntarily in my case, directs one to the details in a way that fast reportorial work doesn’t permit.  With on the spot work, you’re striving for the gesture and the essence in as quick a time as possible.  Nothing is a complete loss however when working with the heavy weight Arches, as the failed drawings are gessoed over for future painting use- something I'm looking forward to as so far the papers have been unprimed and absorb the initial washes pretty aggressively. 

Each painting has been a learning experience presenting enjoyable challenges in working on different papers surfaces, as opposed to canvas, along with trying to get the colors, brushwork and approximation of spontaneity to gel together.  I’ll continue playing, and it is indeed play in the best sense of the word,  as there are still a few more weeks to get some more finished images done in between assignments. 

The image in the background on the easel is still being scanned at a studio. I'll post it when I get it back.

This was a drawing from my large sized moleskin pad- 2 11x16" sheets dry mounted on acid free heavy weight paper.