Friday, 19 July 2013


Acrylics on canvas

Earlier this year I was contacted by my friend's partner to paint a landscape. He had seen my work before and had been wanting to buy a landscape painting of Queenstown, New Zealand. Only I'm normally a portrait artist and the only landscapes I had really ever done were in watercolour. But he trusted my artistic judgement and style enough to ask me to paint him a landscape so I decided to give it a go.
I must admit, I was baffled as to where to start with this. I prepped the canvas with black gesso and a layer of gold paint as I have been doing with many of my paintings for the past year or so, then added a thick layer of Matisse Mat Gel with a few layers of a blue-green glaze. So this provided me with a fairly textural and rich ground to build on (parts of it still show through in some areas, which is brilliant). On top of this I built up the mountains using a deep indigo (combination of phthalo blue red shade, Prussian blue and napthol red medium) mixed in with a large amount of impasto gel. After allowing this to dry for a day I started on the lake. This was probably my favourite part. Liquitex Pouring Medium is probably one of the best mediums I've invested in. It creates this incredible marbling effect and sits in little puddles if it's not being manoeuvred around the surface. I mixed a few different batches of colours of this stuff (using a combination of the medium and fluid, heavy body and ink acrylics) and just poured them into different spots on the canvas and began tilting it this way and that until it had achieved the look I was going for. It's really not that easy to explain how to use it. Pouring Medium is something that, if you're really into exploring different acrylic mediums, you really ought to invest in. I'm about to embark on some more works using this. After the Pouring Medium had dried after a day I continued to build up detail using layers of glazes of acrylics.
All in all, I'm stoked with how this work turned out. I can't say I prefer landscape painting over portraits, but it was a nice change. 
There are some close up shots at the bottom of this post. You can see how much texture is in this work and how the paints have been used so differently! It's quite exciting. I think I've found a way to tackle my Oslo Opera House painting now! Yay!

Do you have any questions about this painting? Anything you want to know about acrylic painting or mediums or the paints I used? I'm happy to answer your questions, take feedback or just hear from you in general.

From Monica


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