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Friday, June 15, 2007

Blondheim Art Original Landscape Painting

Rawlings Park
8x10 inches
acrylic on panel
Gold Frame
Available through Linda Blondheim Art Studio

Painters Tip

Highlighting With Acrylics

My paintings are all about contrast and light. That has always been a focus for me. I love rich color and light. I discovered quite early in my acrylic painting study that contrast and light were going to be a problem with traditional painting methods.

I use a layering process to paint with acrylics, not a blending process. It is quite different from my oil methods. For one thing, acrylics are quite thin and have no body if I don't use layering. I do use the gel medium but that only helps so much. Blending is quite difficult and unsatisfactory for me and I spent a few frustrating years trying to make them behave as oils. I finally realized that they need a different approach. I lay down the basic flat shape and then start a process of layering with multiple values and colors to bring the painting to life.

When I got to that skill level, I discovered that the paintings were lacking in the crisp contrast which is necessary for my happiness. They were still flat and fairly dark. Of course they had dried darker, and that is one thing I still hate about acrylics.

My first solution was to adjust the values to a higher key and this helped, but I still lacked the intense contrast that light in the field requires.

I finally discovered that by using pure white either a warm white of a cool white, depending on the light situation, I could intensify the areas of strong contrast I needed to pop the light where I needed it. It works quite well. I simply decide where I need the brightest light on objects and put it there with white. I leave it to dry and then go back with glazing medium and an appropriate color, mostly glaze and very little pigment, which stains the white the color I need it to be without darkening it.

The above painting was finished this way.

I'm sure all of you advanced acrylic painters are laughing at my struggles, but it takes me longer to learn things and acrylics are my second medium. I was absolutely thrilled with my discovery.

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