This tip only applies when painting on surfaces that are gessoed.
It seems natural to use water to create thin, transparent layers of color while painting with acrylics, especially when creating an underpainting. Unfortunately, adding too much water will break down the acrylic binder that holds the pigment together. What this means is that, over time, the paint will detach (or flake off) from the surface. The general rule is to use a maximum of 30% water to 70% paint. To create thin layers, I use an acrylic airbrush medium instead. This gives me the transparency I would normally get with water without weakening the paint. Additionally, the airbrush medium’s viscosity is similar to that of water, making wash effects easier.
In the example above, I used thin washes on the table, background as well as the egg.
I’m currently experimenting with acrylic paints with the intention of using them for plein air purposes. I believe acrylic’s quick drying time will work better with my paint layering technique as compared to oil paints. Since it’s still cold here in New Jersey, I’m creating small, 6″ x 8″, indoor paintings of food to test out my technique and work resolve any issues I may encounter with the medium. Additionally, these food-themed paintings have taken on a life of their own.
I’ll be posting my progress here as well as any tips or pitfalls that I run into.
Where: Outliers Gallery, Studio 150, #246, 150 Bay Street, Jersey City, NJ When: January 1 – February 28
The Outliers are currently having an exhibition with a “nighttime” theme at our gallery at 150 Bay Street. The four participating artist are: Dorie Dahlberg, Ed Fausty, Brad Terhune and myself. Each of us have our unique interpretation of the theme and and the exhibit is worth a visit. I have 2 plein air paintings and 2 studio paintings as part of the show.
The Jersey City art critic, Tris McCall, talks about the best shows in New Jersey in 2022. “Black and White to Magnificent Color” at the Watchung Arts Center is listed as number 9 where my name and painting “Too Much Energy on an Oppressively Hot Day” are mentioned. It’s a very interesting read and a good insight into all of the interesting exhibitions happening in NJ. For the full article click here.
Where: Whitespace Art & Event Gallery, 47 US Highway 46, Suite 3 Hackettstown, NJ 07840 Phone: (908) 451-7364
“The Immigrants” and “Too Much Energy on an Oppressively Hot Day” are currently on display at Whitespace Gallery in Hackettstown, NJ. This gallery exhibits artists of varied styles and themes working in different mediums: painting, sculpture and jewelry. All artworks are created by artists local to the area. It’s a large space with multiple exhibition areas.
This is the second year of the event and the level of talent has significantly improved in that short amount of time. The weather was perfect for autumn painting in quaint, downtown Flemington. After everyone painted, there was a free lunch with sandwiches, snacks, desserts and drinks (including hot coffee). The judge for the event was Roberto Osti, a university teacher and fellow plein air teacher/artist who was kind enough to stay afterwards to give honest, constructive critiques to anyone that wanted them.
When: September 16 – September 17, 2022 Where: Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042 Collector’s Preview: September 16, 2022, 6:30-9pm Quick Draw: Saturday, September 17, 9am-Noon
This was a very well organized event hosted by friendly people where the artists were treated very well. On Thursday evening we were treated to a delicious dinner at a Havre de Grace seafood restaurant where the artists got the chance to mingle. Afterwards, we painted the streets of Havre de Grace at nighttime. The artists set-up their walls on Friday afternoon and we dressed-up for the Collector’s Preview on Friday night which was well-catered with food and drink. The entire event did not disappoint. On Saturday morning we participated in the Quick Draw where I was lucky enough to get an honorable mention. I can’t say enough good things about this event which I plan on participating in 2023.
When: September 9 – November 6, 2022 Where: Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042
Inspired by George Inness: Life and Landscape takes its cues from the upcoming exhibition of MAM’s renowned Inness collection. It showcases the work of George Inness, Studio Montclair Members, and MAM instructors and staff. According to curator Virginia Block, “We are extremely pleased to be continuing our collaboration with Montclair Art Museum again this year for our Community Partnership exhibition.
My painting “Transcendental Tree” is part of this exhibition on view to through November 6, 2022.