I don’t yet have a thickening gel. I will try again when I have one but I am using the acrylic by itself. I think I have been using this technique, of picking up several colours on the brush at once, when I have painted wood grain in the past; just automatically. I think it works well for this.
This technique certainly uses a lot of paint….and I need to be wary of loading too much black on top.
For the melon and grapes, above, I tried mixing in clear varnish to thicken it – this didn’t work but it does add a nice gloss to the acrylic! (The melon is not really round enough…)
I tried a couple of peppers and cherry tomatoes, really trying to get the paint thick. I think the impasto effect worked a little better this time.
The I started working with pallette knives. I discovered that by smearing and then pulling to knife straight up it creates vein-like effects, really good for leaves, so I painted an area like this, using a light and dark green, creating leaf like shapes and scratched in with some brown and then created some thick purple flowers on top, with some white as well, adding in the yellow middles. This inspiration was taken from the flowering bush we have in our back yard.
I am rather pleased with the effect. I think maybe impasto works best when using a pallette knife. It really reminds me of when I used to go to ceramics classes; I did a lot of pictures on tiles which was really painting in relief. It is like working with the clay slip to create the shapes and we used modelling tools for this, including pallette knives..
I did some more today, just quickly with the pallette knife, this time looking at the hibiscus bush we have.
I spread a layer of gold acrylic onto A3 paper, then some pink and some reddish brown. It was like chocolate. I used the end of a small paintbrush to scrap the paint off and I followed a life drawing sketch from a class I had drawn previously, to put in a reclining figure. I think she looks like a mermaid actually…The paint came off thickly and I had to keep wiping the point clean.. I also scraped with a pallette knife when I needed too.
To be honest, I think sgrafitto works best on pottery….or maybe I am trying to work this like it is clay. I like the gold showing through on this. I think it has a Greek feel to it.
I was inspired by a quote from Bukowski the other day and wanted to try something with this. I smeared on some blue, (I used a brush to start then card) then added some pink and silver, and went over with red. It all got a bit messy. I was hoping to scratch the quote on but it didn’t work so I used a sharpie pen instead, which was not the idea, I know. It worked quite well for the feathers. I might try this again as I like the idea of it but I want to get the quote on there too. I need to spread the paint thicker, I think. Maybe let the under layer dry a bit first.
I tried again on card this time. Used a lot of silver as the base. Found the little wooden things that you are meant to use in the corner of canvas block and they makes excellent scrapers and plasterers as they have a flat side and points! So I worked with them and the paint brush end as well. I knew they would come in useful one day. I can never fit them in the corners of the canvas block anyway.
‘Sgraffito, (Italian: “scratched”), in the visual arts, a technique used in painting, pottery, and glass, which consists of putting down a preliminary surface, covering it with another, and then scratching the superficial layer in such a way that the pattern or shape that emerges is of the lower colour. During the Middle Ages, especially in panel painting and in the illumination of manuscripts, the ground was often of gold leaf. In wall painting, or mural painting, two layers of different-coloured plaster are usually employed. In stained glass, the scratching is done through a top layer of coloured glass, revealing clear glass beneath; in pottery the pattern is incised through a white or coloured slip (mixture of clay and water washed over the vessel before firing), revealing the body colour beneath. Sgraffito ware was produced by Islāmic potters and became common throughout the Middle East. The 18th-century scratch blue class of English white stoneware is decorated with sgraffito patterns touched with blue. Sgraffito ware was produced as early as 1735 by German settlers in colonial America.’
I think some of my work in the landscape section might have worked well with impasto; it might have added a little drama to an ordinary vista. I realise I was using sgraffitto a little by scratching in when I was experimenting for assignment 4; pipes and metal tanks of the refinery would lend themselves well to this effect I think. The flowers were fun to do impasto but it just seems perhaps an obvious choice. 🙂