Painting en plein air today – acrylics!

Since the small acrylic glaze test went well; the colours were radient, the texture of the acrylic paint was fine, I am doing a big painting in acrylics!

This is the first time I have ever done a big painting in acrylics, so I didn’t know what to expect.

The pros I knew going into this was that I would saving money, acrylic paint is a lot cheaper than oil paint, and also it will dry so much faster, which means I can start glazing it much sooner.

What I didn’t expect was that painting in greyscale with acrylics is AWESOME! This is because:
– They dry very fast, so I can layer the paint much more without the paint layers mixing and smushing with each other. This gave me SO MUCH more freedom to paint and re-paint and build up layers without feeling the pressure to get it right in a few marks. This is big. And I think really affected the look of the finished painting.
– I don’t have to wear gloves! And it’s much easier to wash the brushes afterwards (this is minor).
– The paint seems to go further on the canvas. I spend less time squeezing paint out, and more time actually painting!

I painted this on a beautiful afternoon. This was only the second true spring day we’ve had this year. You could tell spring was coming in the atmosphere, in the air. It was very still, with warm yellow sun streaming into the forest, casting shadows across the trunks of the trees and creating dramatic dark and light on craggy branches.
The one difficulty I had was that the canvas was in direct sunlight when I was painting, which meant the colours looked different to how they do now back in the studio. The canvas is a lot darker than it looked when I was painting it!:

It looks so much lighter outside in the woodland sunlight!
Photographed in the studio – looking dark

I filmed my painting process. I find these fascinating to watch back. It reveals my process, especially for this painting which had so many layers. These videos seem part of the finished work, like they should be shown with the finished painting. Especially when the light in the video is so gorgeous!

I just noticed that the timelapse videos track the movement of the sun through the moving shadows on the canvas and trees. That’s cool!

This video will be good to refer back to when I am glazing the painting and want to see what the day was like.

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