Tuesday, 10 April 2012

WIP: A homage to Egon Schiele in Venetian red

A homage to Egon Schiele in Venetian red (work in progress)
Acrylic, bleached beeswax, charcoal, soft pastel and oil pastel on canvas board

I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to post first but I figured a new painting would be fitting, right? Right.
This isn't my usual style. There are a dozen reasons why I say this:
- it's a full figure painting. I usually paint faces
- I've used a hell of a lot of red, which is not usually featured all that much in my work... ever
- so much mixed media going on here
- and so on

I started this painting a few weeks ago because I was feeling a bit frustrated with all my uni work and lack of practical classes this semester. I like to have paintings to work on when things get stressful. I could say it's a procrastination piece but it's become far too complex now to call it that. I had also recently acquired tubes of Matisse Structure Venetian red and Australian sienna. I've been meaning to invest in Venetian red for quite some time now to see how it would work in place of burnt umber. I have trouble with burnt umber dulling my colours sometimes so I thought the Venetian red might help me out here (verdict: so far so good. We'll see how it goes with greens later). My friend gave me a tube of Australian sienna because she had one too many and thought I would enjoy it. I must say I really like it as a warm yellow. If you can get your hands on either of these colours I would strongly recommend them. They've made wonderful additions to my palette.

The canvas was originally a different painting which wasn't going anywhere. I painted over it with gold acrylic and impasto gel, scratched in the figure and let it dry for a few days. There needed to be more texture so I dug around through my materials and pulled out some unbleached beeswax and charcoal. The rough texture is made from melted wax and ground up charcoal rubbed over the canvas. The first layers of colour were done with acrylics (mostly Venetian red, Australian sienna, aureolin yellow and titanium white). Charcoal, soft pastel and white oil pastel followed with a bit of some mat gel medium.

The figure itself is an appropriation of one of Egon Schiele's nude self portraits. More on Egon in later posts because he needs his own post.


The painting is not finished yet. I feel like there is something missing from it. I do love how the gold ground has worked and I'll definitely be experimenting with that in the future. I may also have to pay a bit more attention to those lonely looking tubes of red paint in my paint box.

That's all for now but stay tuned for some exhibition reviews and a post on the new MCA!

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