|Starting Point, mixed media on Gessobord|
I am always looking for ways to create subtle contrast between hard and soft edges in my work. While using a brush to create some of the softer applications of paint, I often use other tools like palette knives, needle tools, and oil bars to create my heavier textures. These materials work best on a firm support, therefore choosing the right substrate to paint on is very important. Unlike canvas, which can be flexible, Gessobord™ from Ampersand provides me with a strong rigid support that withstands a heavier hand and meets the demands of oil bars, palette knives, and texturing mediums. The surface also allows me to work in thinner washes and with soft blended brush strokes. The 2” Deep Cradle Gessobord, with its attractive wood sides, is gallery ready to hang and does not require framing, giving it a modern look when hanging on the wall.
|Raw Umber oil bar to develop trees|
|Using a rag to wipe out shapes at the base of trees.|
I developed the initial stages of the painting using a mixture of oil bar colors and a low toxicity mineral spirit called Daniel Smith Sol. I spread a wash of the spirits over the surface and then used a raw umber and burnt sienna oil bar to develop the tree forms (A). While the surface was still wet, I used a rag to wipe out shapes along the base of the trees to show soft light coming through (B).
|Zinc white with Hansa yellow and ochre for sky|
|Reapplied oil bar with palette knife|
Working dark to light, I focused on laying down initial layers of raw umber oil bar in the foreground and then, using a heavy hand, scumbling across the surface in a horizontal linear pattern with raw sienna oil bar. Subsequent colors of oil bar were used to build up the color and surface of the field. They were heavily applied to the surface, scraped away, and then reapplied using a palette knife (D).
To finish, I used a #12 fan bristle brush to blend the trees and parts of the foreground. Once the painting was dry to the touch, I used a damar retouch spray to unify the surface of the painting. This varnish will allow the painting to continue drying until a final varnish is applied. I removed the tape that was protecting the sides of the Gessobord panel and my painting is now ready to hang!
To learn more about artist Jennifer Phillips, visit www.facebook.com/JenniferPhillipsArt
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