Saturday, July 27, 2013

Encaustic Abstract Landscapes - Sunrise, Sunset

One of the more rewarding aspects of painting abstract landscapes is working with both sky and water in the
same piece.  And there's no better times of day to capture than sunrise and sunset simply because of the way an artist can play with shapes and colors in the way they work the reflections in the water.
After about two months of rain here in the southeast in South Carolina, I felt a need to move away from the misty and dream like landscapes I'd been painting to digging through my paintboxes and baskets to find some bright bold colors to play with as opposed to the muted blues and grays.
Working on both 4X4 and 8X10 cradled wooden art boards and on larger 16X20 canvases, I turned my attention to mountain scenes during sunrise and sunset. This gave me the opportunity to play with palettes of yellows, oranges and reds.  It
may have been dreary outside  my window and gloomy in my studio but it was bright and bold on my easel.
On these pieces, I did less of the scumbling and removing of pant that I do with the more misty panels and  instead focused on layering, often wet on wet with my oils using vermillion red, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, cadmium green, terra verte, thalo yellow green, Payne's gray, titanium white and  ivory black.
On the wooden cradled art boards I used oil and beeswax encaustic, while on the larger canvas piece, I simply used oils since beeswax will crack when the elements swell and shrink the canvas.
While I love the dreamlike effects on the more moody dusk or misty works I did in blue tones in the past, it's fun to play with cloud formations in the sky, along with the vanishing points to create moods and distance  in these sunrise and sunset pieces.
For materials this time I used Artist's Loft wood art boards from Michaels, a mixture of Grumbacher and  Winton oils and R&F white beeswax mixed with Damar resin for the encaustic finish.
After painting the landscapes with the oils, I allow them to dry for at least a week before applying the
encaustic glazing which adds dimension and texture to the finish.
The smaller 4x4 pieces serve as my "samplers" the opportunity to test out a concept and see if it works.  Since they will stand they are nice additions to a bookcase or mantle either in groupings or alone.    


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