I am pleased to report that I have managed to do at least some painting each day this week. A 100% increase on recent productivity. The marble painting is beginning to reach the stage where I have more a less finished blocking-in, and can now move on to refining the basic shapes and introducing the detail that will hopefully start to bring the image to life.
For the initial blocking-in stage of a painting I tend to use some existing acrylic colours that I have previously mixed for other works in order to quickly get a sense of composition. As a lot of my paintings use large areas of flat, consistent, colour, I have built up an array of left-over paint colours from earlier works to use. These colours are stored in a variety of adopted paint containers that litter my studio:
I have found that using these containers helps me to utilise paint as efficiently as possible. In an airtight container the paint remains usable for long periods of time and, because over the years I have built up a whole spectrum of colours, there is often a convenient colour palette to hand for under-painting duties.
After blocking-in has been completed, and I move onto the final layers of a painting, I clearly require a more bespoke colour palette in far less excessive quantities. For this I use the tried and trusted Daley Rowney Stay-Wet palette.
The last time that I purchased one of these it cost £15, which is a bit extravagant, but being as my first one lasted nearly 10 years it seems like a more than fair investment. The palette helps to keep acrylic paint wet and usable. A sheet of blotting paper is kept moist at the bottom of the palette tray, and the paint is squeezed onto a tracing paper style sheet over the top of this. As long as the lid is placed back on the palette after use, and the blotting paper is kept moist, the paint lasts for a good couple of weeks. Very handy if you have mixed just the right colour that you then require at a later date!
Sadly I am not the most disciplined at cleaning my palette after use so mine currently looks like this (the aftermath of painting activity earlier in the year):
I will certainly need a new sheet of blotting and tracing paper when I start using this again! I tend to arrange my selection of freshly squeezed paint around the edge of the palette and mix colours in the middle. As I get engrossed in a painting however any kind of organisation goes by-the-way, and it is pretty much a painting free for all. This is how my palette has descended into the chaos documented above!
Hopefully I will be able to provide an update on my painting progress this week tomorrow. I'm now off to try and get the canvas to a work-in-progress stage that is fit for public preview!