All about the inspiration behind the art. Acrylic Paintings, Impressionism, Art, Southern, Modern, Contemporary, Coastal, Flowers, Famous Places, New Orleans, Florida, Gulf Coast, Food, Expressionism, Fauve, Cityscapes, Architecture, Decor, Painting, Beach, Tropical, Seascape, Landscape, Still Life Mona Vivar Fine Art: March 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Paint Thick or Go Home

I think many artists (I include myself in this group) frequently tighten up and get stingy with the paint.  It seems to be natural to do so when trying to reach some ideal image.   I finally decided to get bolder with my use of paint and be generous when applying it to the support.
To shake things up a bit (ie, get myself out of old habits) I used a palette knife for my most recent work.  I also put a lot of paint on the palette and on the paintings.  Oils were applied with minimal amounts of liquin or straight out of the tube.  Acrylics where thickened with Golden High Solid Gel Gloss.  Only the most rudimentary guide lines where painted on the canvas so that I would be forced to develop the image by manipulating the paint.  The resulting paintings were much looser, more spontaneous and fresher.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Jackson Square Splendor, 10 inches by 8 inches, oil on panel
Now available on Etsy at Mona Vivar Fine Art
Detail of Jackson Square Splendor

Copyright Mona Vivar, Race Day, 10 inches by 10 inches, acrylic on canvas
Now available on Ebay at Mona Vivar Fine Art

Detail of Race Day

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wall Street Paintings

This week I had the good fortune to paint some special Wall Street art for a financial advisor's new office.  It was fun coming up with modern colorful renditions of famous symbols of that epicenter of the financial world.  So here are my contributions to the workplace.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Bullish, 24 inches by 36 inches, acrylic on canvas
Private Collection

Copyright Mona Vivar, NY Stock Exchange, 16 inches by 12 inches, acrylic on canvas
Private Collection
Need something special for your workplace or home?  I am always happy to do commissions!  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Impressionist Techniques: Brown Pelican

This week I decided to create an oil painting of a brown pelican using impressionist techniques.  Here's my limited palette:  titanium white, cadmium yellow medium, lemon yellow, cadmium orange, cadmium red light, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and phthalo blue.  These colors are sure bets for creating harmonious color.  I used small amounts of Liquin for thinning the paint when necessary.  The brown mixtures you see are combinations of white, cadmium orange, alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue.
I sketch the pelican using a very thin mix of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson.  The canvas was a rejected thin acrylic painting.  Oil can safely be used on acrylics.  No need to waste a perfectly good surface.
I then applied paint to the pelican using the variety of rich browns and greys mixed in the beginning.  I added pure cadmium and lemon yellow for the head.   I haven't worked the background at this point.  I used thick paint for an impasto effect throughout this demonstration.

I worked the background using combinations of white, ultramarine blue, and cadmium orange.  I also used a variety of directions in my brushstrokes to add more interest to the overall look of the painting.

The eye of a pelican is what really makes it an interesting. lively bird.  The blue iris is more intense against the yellow feathers.  The light is coming from the left so I used lighter ultramarine blue (using more white in the mix) on the bottom right of the iris.  I placed a white sparkle dot at the upper left portion of the pupil.  This gives the illusion of light shining on the eye.

Here is a close up of the combinations of colors and strokes used for the feathers.

This is the finished painting.  I completed the piece in one session.

Copyright Mona Vivar, Pelican Post, 8 inches by 10 inches, oil on canvas
Appearing (as soon as dry) in my Ebay store at Mona Vivar Fine Art

Friday, March 7, 2014

Impressionist Painting Technique Demonstration

Spring blooms are appearing every day along coastal Alabama making me excited to grab a brush and catch them on canvas.  I have been on a Monet binge lately and wanted to paint a flowering tree using his impressionist technique.  I used acrylics for my painting Blooms and Bluebird for the sake of drying time.  The painting was completed in one session.
Here is the photo of the tree that caught my attention yesterday while I was out and about.  I took a quick shot with my android phone because I was spending the day taking care of non-art business and didn't have time to sketch or do anything on site.  But I had to paint this tree!

I was only interested in the lovely tree and its graceful shape.  I knew that I would do liberal editing and leave out all the oil barrels, electrical lines and the shed.  I also knew that I would amp up the colors from this grey day photo.
Here is my easel set up.  Canvas is 7 inches by 5 inches.  Toilet paper roll on the left for wiping brushes, "Masterson sta-wet" palette and water on the right.  My lap top (not shown) is on the left.  I have my photo reference on the lap top.  It looks more three dimensional to me on a screen than on paper.
Now I sketch only the most basic shape of the tree on my toned canvas (yellow ochre acrylic is used as a tone for all my canvases) with a round brush and a dark mix of alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue.   I put blue painters tape (go to any hardware store or place that sells house painting supplies to get this) on the top handle and bottom tray of the easel to keep the canvas gallery wrapped edges free of old, built up paint.  I change the tape when I change to a new painting.

Now I proceed over the next series of stages to simply add strokes of color.  I avoid keeping things outlined because I want that dreamy soft look that Monet achieved.  I also build up a lot of different colors to add interest and richness to the painting.  There are many mixtures of blues, greens, purples, pinks, yellow and white added and re-added as the painting progresses.

Paintings always go through a "messy" stage that frequently scares me, but I have learned to soldier on to a finished piece.




Here is the final version of Blooms and Bluebird.  I think I kept true to the shape of the tree and the sparkle of its blooms.  I added the bluebird just because I have been seeing a lot of them flitting around my yard.  They are also a symbol of Spring to me.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Blooms and Bluebird, 7 inches by 5 inches, acrylic on canvas