For a year after painting a manta and sting ray collection of underwater paintings, I had in my mind to do a very large painting with all kinds of rays gliding through the water. Working on a 60×48″ canvas is never easy since my studio is rather small. I had to put most of the canvas on my larger easel and rest the other end of the canvas on a small table. I do find that painting large is much more energetic and after several hours, my muscles are sore so I try to work on other smaller pieces for awhile.
“Gathering Rays” is completed and looking for a nice large wall to enhance a room. I figure it would be like being in an aquarium, right?
details of impressionistic paint strokes and decor idea
“Teal Octopus” is a large fanciful impressionistic painting. 48×36″ gallery wrap. I embedded gold leaf details and some 3D elements for interest. Using large brushes and bold strokes along with twisted medium brush details teaches me to be deliberate with my strokes and to not overwork.
Commissions are tough since an artist can never really guess completely on what a client truly will love. I had an art collector ask me to paint 2 seahorse paintings as a set to accent her room. I went ahead and painted four or two sets so she would have a choice. Each painting is 20×10″.
Finally completed this commission that goes up a staircase. Each panel is 36×18″ and I had to figure out how tall the steps were and how many inches between the paintings as well as how far they were staggered. Trying to carry the scene over three panels was very difficult. The coral and seaweed needed to flow onto the next painting so I held the one canvas up 7″ to carry the scene over.
This was the four piece scene on the top of the collector’s wall that I did 8 years ago or so. I have tweaked all four now to go more with these three new ones, adding more detail and additional cool blues and toning down the orange by adding peaches and pinks. I will get photos next week of the transformation of the ABOVE WATER sequence.
“Octopus Golds” is 36×36″ with carved plasters and metallic golds.
Steps were in order: Drawing on canvas, carving designs with modeling plaster, gesso over plaster, metallics brushed on and acrylics painted on top. Final glazes with blues and red iron oxide. Varnish.
Its odd how ideas occur. I was looking at the distressed door to my studio with its paint scratchy and rough looking and had just finished some underwater landscapes in the last few months (between the beach and sandpipers and mermaids)….when an inspiration arose. I sketched out my octopus design and mentally mapped out how to achieve my vision. Many stages of different materials which all have one to three days of drying time between layers needed to be planed for. First I took a white gesso 36″ square gallery wrap.
Painting the entire large canvas with palette knives and modeling plaster (or you can use joint compound form the hardware store) took the good part of the first day. Let that dry for 3 days because it was thick in some areas.
Then I made a mixture of copper and gold acrylic paint and painted the entire dried surface. Before it got completely dry, I took a bunch of towels and rags and gently wiped it back a bit. Then I made a mixture of different whites to dry brush over the dried metallic surface. After that the painting evolved with some large brush glazes of thinned colors over the octopus. Let that dry a few days.
Finally, I spent four days with various palette knives and heavy mixed paints creating the coloring and texture enhancing. With thick paints, let each layer dry a day for nicer jutsapositions of colors.
Enjoy “Octopus Blue”.
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“Festive Reef” is 36×36″ new original painting that was inspired by the recent mermaid painting that I sold. It had some very colorful reef corals and seaweed. Being 36×36″ is larger than most mantles can hold but for homes with higher ceilings, this is a good place to display. Also dens and dining rooms would be enhanced by this fun scene. It is a gallery wrap so doesn’t need a frame…a more modern look.