Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Cool Alla Prima

"Fading Light"

8"x16" Oil on Canvas Covered Masonite Panel

I'm really beginning to love alla prima painting. You sit down, slam on paint and walk away. Sounds easy but it took me a while to get to this point of being able to pull that off....and they don't all come out as you had hoped. Still, in a way the surprise of your results is part of why you should try it. Studio work is so calculated and not much is an accident there. It's all planned out and methodical at times so doing plein air or alla prima work is a breath of fresh air. I'm still very much working at getting better at alla prima, as well as plein air, so I'm no expert at either.
This piece came out nicely and so far it is my favorite alla prima piece. About 2 1/2 hours of work. My learned secret to painting alla prima is to paint in my darks first very thin...I mix the paint and then dip my brush in tupentine, mix that into the paint mix and then apply almost as a wash. Then, in 5 minutes or so you can paint right over your darks with your mids. Leave room for your highlights and it is a breeze. If you want headaches with either your plein air painting or your alla prima painting then paint in heavy will either wait or end up with mud. This painting has a dark rich look to it but my darks here are very thin and I painted my mids over them and even blended some of the darks/mids together in spots where needed.
Look at the darks here under the greens....very dark mix of brownish/ green applied thin with turpentine. Let it get tacky and then lightly place your mids over it. Saves you lots of time.

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