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Arizona

I will show you the steps that led to the creation of the artwork titled Arizona .

Step 1

I start by drawing random lines with watercolor crayons.

Step 2

The firt colour is usually a dark one. Here, it’s a sepia.

Step 3

I add spots of color that set the tone for the work.

Step 4

The next colors are mixed directly on the canvas to produce gradients. During this step, I spray the canvas with a mist of water to keep the paint wet. In some places, I spray water jets to create drips.

Step 5

I leave it to dry. During this time, I make sketches to establish the direction to give to this work. If, until now, the process was rather intuitive, the rest will be more thoughtful and methodical.

Step 6

I now add organic flat shapes and decorations (dots, lines, splashes).

Acrylic, graphite and charcoal on gallery wrapped canvas, 102 X 102 X 4 cm (40 X 40 X 1,5 inches)

Step 7

I finish by adding graphite and charcoal lines.

Here it is! Finished.

Acrylic, graphite and charcoal on gallery wrapped canvas, 102 X 102 X 4 cm (40 X 40 X 1,5 inches)

Pay attention to the sides

Since this work is made on a 4 cm thick gallery canvas, it can be installed on the wall without a frame. For this reason, I always pay attention to the sides while painting. I can paint them with a solid colour or in continuity with the artwork, continuing the patterns on the sides. That’s what I did here.

Varnishing

Varnish is often a subject of debate. Should I varnish or not? As far as I’m concerned, I don’t hesitate. The varnish protects from UV rays and dust which could become embedded in the paint. However, I do not like the high gloss varnish. That’s why I opt for a varnish with a satin finish like that of Liquitex. I apply two coats.

Colours used

Here are the colours that I used to make this artwork.

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Reculer d’un pas

It’s always exciting to start a new canvas. But it’s also scary. Especially when I paint abstract works of expressive or intuitive style. I don’t really know what I want to paint. The only thing I feel is this need to create. Some would say, no problem since it is an expressive work. But no. Some writers have white page syndrome, I have white canvas syndrome.

Step 1

It’s pretty. It looks like a glacial valley.

Since we have to start somewhere, let’s go. I deposit the paint directly from the tubes on the white canvas. I choose two or three colors that I spread and mix on the canvas using brushes, paint knives and rubber spatulas. I work on colors and textures until my canvas is fully covered. While the paint is still fresh, I make marks in it with a bamboo point, then I take a break. These first colors sometimes disappear almost entirely in the further steps.

Colors used in step 1.

  • prussian blue
  • titanium white
  • cerulean blue
  • brilliant purple

Step 2

That is also pretty.

Let’s clear this up now. I add warm colors. I really like the warm colors. I use them in all my paintings. I regularly spray water on the canvas to create gradients. It’s another thing that I like. As we can see, there is not much left of the blue from step 1. Another pause while the paint dries.

Colors used in step 2.

  • permanent rose
  • deep cadmium yellow

Step 3

It lacks white and green. Pale green, and warm too. I leave the white flow on the canvas. I work with diluted colors because I regularly spray the canvas. That leaves as showing the colors of lower layers. I use a brush with stiff bristles to achieve the gradients. And my fingers too.

Colors used in step 3.

  • titanium white
  • green gold
  • permanent rose
  • deep cadmium yellow

Step 4

I really like those colors that have emerged during the last stage. I don’t want to hide them. I add only a few details: a little contrast in certain places, projected droplets and scribbled lines. And there you go!

List of all the colors used.

  • titanium white
  • prussian blue
  • cerulean blue
  • brilliant purple
  • permanent rose
  • deep cadmium yellow
  • green gold