Now that I have my inspiration (chairs), I can decide on which medium to use. When it comes to painting, I don’t usually start with a preliminary sketch. I like to begin by covering my surface, usually a cradled wood panel, with a few thin layers of color using oil and cold wax medium.
The Process Begins
I mix water-soluble oils (a legitimate substitute for regular oils if one has any sensitivity to turpentine or other toxins, not to mention easy clean-up with water) with cold wax medium (CWM), which is a wax product the consistency of solid vegetable oil. CWM gives the paint a translucent quality and acts as a drying agent. That latter characteristic allows you to lay on thin layers of color within 15-30 minutes of the previous layer. This is really nice given the slow nature of oil paint drying time.
Layers and Patterns Are Added
As I layer, I might scratch in lines, imprint a pattern, stencil or apply collage materials. I adjust the colors and overall pattern until I’m satisfied. Then, I review the piece for a while, turning it around and noting interesting patterns, lines or color combinations.
The image above shows layers of purple, ruddy orange and spring green. After viewing it in different orientations, I decided the purple area would be the top of the piece because I liked the movement of the green within it. It reminds me of the movement of foliage. I continue to add creamy white as an accent color and then expand it into a broader field of color. That made me think of a deck, which of course, needs chairs to view the landscape.
The Piece Progresses
Using something with a straight edge, such as a credit card, I lightly cut into the paint layers to compose my chairs. I also used the credit card to scrape back areas to reveal color layers below and develop rhythmic shapes and patterns. Then it is a matter of refining the composition, adding color accents and so forth to complete the piece. You can see some of that development in the image above.
The completed piece, above, is 18″ x 18” square and is titled “Virere: To Be Green.”
Next week, I will talk more about using oil and cold wax medium – I hope you will join me. In the meantime … Happy Creating.