Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Break from Plein Air: Studio Paintings

I've been asked by the Zion Natural History Association to paint a couple of studio pieces for the 2011 "In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran" event.  This is a plein air invitational that runs October 31-November 6, but it has an accompanying exhibit of studio work by the artists that will run from September 20-November 27th.  (For more on the event and exhibitions, see www.zionpark.org.)  In between teaching workshops these last couple of weeks, I've been working on mine.  Here they are:

"Snowy Heights" 9x12, oil/alkyd

"Snowy Canyon" 9x12, oil/alkyd

I really had a lot of fun using Gamblin's new FastMatte series of alkyd paints for these.  Not only did the paints dry quickly, which made things go faster, but they also gave the surface texture with a capital T.  Because the paint gets "tacky" pretty fast,  I can lay down broken color quite easily.  The final result resembles my pastels,  in which I use broken color a lot.  Here's a detail of "Snowy Heights" so you can see how the color breaks.  It's delicious!


Helen O. said...

Thank you for telling me about these! I used to use alkyds - still use alkyd white for large pale areas such as skies and some still life backgrounds. I stopped when I found I was horribly allergic to Liquin, but if I paint without much/any medium, I can probably use alkyds again - and for a lot of what I do, fast drying sure is a bonus!

Acrylic just doesn't do it - especially in arid climates where they dry almost before they hit the palette out of the tube...actually I dislike their very chemical-looking colours. A friend of mine says that oils have more heart because they are made with living vegetable oils; acrylics' underlying petroleum base is 'dead' oil.

Kim Vanlandingham said...

Great paintings! I use Gamblin oils and have thought about trying the alkyds. Great effects with them!