Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday!

I gessoed a few canvases in black awhile back. I wanted to use the last one that I have left today. I've been surprised that painting on black panels is not difficult....but what about a landscape...could that possibly work? Well, to quote the inimitable Fred Picker *: "Try it!"
(My blogging friend Don Michael has indicated that he paints on black all the time..."no big deal"!)

Here are the steps I used. (I used one of my previous paintings for reference)

1. First I just put down some basic marks to indicate where the major shapes are.

2. Then I established the lightest lights right away (This is extra fun on black!)

3. At this point I painted all the major shapes simply using only 2 to 3 values.

4. Here's a "move" I just recently learned from Craig Srebnik. I dragged a paper towel right through the paint all over the entire canvas. (This is done with a medium-light pressure). The object of doing this is to integrate the colors together. 

5. After the paper towel "treatment" you'll see that the sky and the water are contaminated...but don't fret, all one has to do is re-state the colors where necessary.

6. So... in the end I learned that a landscape can be painted onto a black surface. (Thanks for the advice, Fred Picker (RIP), Craig Srebnik and Don Michael)!

(*The famous story I heard about teacher Fred Picker was that one of his students asked him a super-complex-involved technical question (that went on and on). "If I do this and then I do that and then I do this...will that be ok?" ...after a pregnant pause Picker said: "Try it!")

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Reflection, oil on 8x8 stretched canvas

19 comments:

J. Kevin James said...

This painting looks like today felt here in Portland...wet, rainy, and cold. I like this one alot!

BrandNewStudio said...

Wonderful

conservativelybohemian said...

Oh boy. I do hate pregnant pauses. Anyway, this is delightful and I think my favorite paintings are done on black backgrounds. There is depth and emotion that comes through the finished piece when started this way. Dean Haven also uses alot of black gesso'd backgrounds, I believe. This is just so pretty, Celeste! Then this palette always is my favorite.

Maritza said...

Excelente todo el proceso y la enseñanza para pintar en negro...
El resultado:fantástico!

Me quedo con la expresión sin igual: Try it!

Felicitaciones,Celeste!

Besos, desde Chile.

Marie Theron said...

Thank you for the instruction,Celeste. I will hang onto this post.....that rubbing plays a role , is very interesting!

Libby Fife said...

I love your fearlessness! Thanks for explaining too how you did this. I would have thought that the black underneath would have affected the colors on top somehow but other than maybe some black peaking through (if you wanted) everything looks fine. And I love that paper towel technique. I wish I could somehow incorporate that into the acrylic deal.

Carol DeMumbrum said...

I just learned a bunch. Thanks so much for sharing Celeste! This is beautiful! I will try it. :)

Susan Roden said...

Ethereal and delightful. Love the dreamy look Celeste and the black deep reflections.

Michael Lindstrom said...

I best you had a blast with this one. Throwing down super cool on super warm would be tooo hard to resist. Great step-by-step demo, especially the rub down and reinstatment of lines and colors.
I love the mood of this painting, it strongly refelcts the season. Great Job!

Candace X. Moore said...

The thumbnail gives the impression that this piece is a lot bigger. Very cool. The paper towel thing is very useful. A good way to loosen up the painting a bit. And serendipity is always welcome.

billspaintingmn said...

Another beauty. The mood in this is dreamy. An early morning hike into a landscape.

Could you achieve this on a white
canvas, or does the black help in developing the scene?

Dave Starr said...

I want to take classes with CSrebnik but it is too much of a trip. maybe someday. BUT this is so interesting! thanks for sharing it.

-Don said...

I'm reminded of the old Alka Seltzer phrase, "Try it, You'll like it!" I'm glad you did, because I do. Thanks for the 'shout out'. Isn't this thing we do fun!?!?!?

-Don

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Celeste,
Man! Does that ever look like Portland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Great work.
Sincerely,
Gary.

Linda Popple said...

I'm learning to paint on black and find that I really enjoy it. I think it helps with the values.

I enjoyed seeing your process and the next landscape I paint I will try the paper towel thing. Although, I suppose it doesn't have to be a landscape. "Try it."

Your painting is lovely and I like the soft look. Very nice!

Casey Klahn said...

Stun-ning. That means very, very wonderful.

Virginia Floyd said...

Beautiful misty atmosphere. Thanks for sharing the hint about the paper towel!

Carolyn Rondthaler said...

Thanks for sharing the process. I need to write "Try it" across my whole life! Good teaching, and good painting.

Weston said...

I'm a little late to see this one, but that's a great painting and a very cool technique with the towel!