Aaron's X-Wing

I began this piece with my son's love for everything vehicles as my guide.  After some initial planning, I knew I wanted my composition to have a fair amount of energy so I texturized the canvas with diagonal marks.  Having the majority of my painting in earth tones, I chose a cadmium red ground with a high contrasting green underpainting.  I worked in glazes to add a new layer of coverage to the bright ground, careful not to let the vibrancy get too lost in the freshly lain paint. Considering how the X-wing interacts with its environment, I used the hazy clouds and beams of light to merge the subject of the foreground with the background. While working on this piece, I especially loved using the texturized canvas to highlight some notes in the paint, and look forward to using that technique again.  Take a look below at some process and detail shots, and let me know what you think.

Seaside Memories Progression

I first did about 4 or 5 planning sketches to get a feel for different compositions.  I landed on this one as a color spring board.

I first did about 4 or 5 planning sketches to get a feel for different compositions.  I landed on this one as a color spring board.

Session #1 I'm mainly concerned with filling in the white space and planning the composition at this point.  I find white space tends to glaringly stare at me so I like to get a feel for where things are going rather early on in the process.  

Session #1 I'm mainly concerned with filling in the white space and planning the composition at this point.  I find white space tends to glaringly stare at me so I like to get a feel for where things are going rather early on in the process.  

Session #2 Structure added to the left figure and the right figures have been worked on with graphite powder and watercolor.

Session #2 Structure added to the left figure and the right figures have been worked on with graphite powder and watercolor.

Session #3 Worked reductively with an eraser on the right figures to add tones and highlights as well as some basic structure. I also took this session to add a few more layers of depth to the water.

Session #3 Worked reductively with an eraser on the right figures to add tones and highlights as well as some basic structure. I also took this session to add a few more layers of depth to the water.

Session #4 Detail work added to the central figures in graphite, reductive eraser, and watercolor.  Both figures work together with lines curving toward each other, figures leaning inward, and the silhouette of the two create a circular motion. I also added flowers in the foreground at this stage. 

Session #4 Detail work added to the central figures in graphite, reductive eraser, and watercolor.  Both figures work together with lines curving toward each other, figures leaning inward, and the silhouette of the two create a circular motion. I also added flowers in the foreground at this stage. 

Session #5 and #6 After working with loose graphite, I had to spend some time cleaning up the overall surface of the canvas which made a surprising difference in seeing all of the watercolor layers that had been hidden underneath. In these sessions, more warmth was added to the background to counterbalance the bright orange figure on the left.  Highlights and details were added to the female figure on the right and both heads were given stronger structure. 

Session #5 and #6 After working with loose graphite, I had to spend some time cleaning up the overall surface of the canvas which made a surprising difference in seeing all of the watercolor layers that had been hidden underneath. In these sessions, more warmth was added to the background to counterbalance the bright orange figure on the left.  Highlights and details were added to the female figure on the right and both heads were given stronger structure. 

Session #7 I began texturing the foreground and gave the figures weight with a more defined connection to the ground.  

Session #7 I began texturing the foreground and gave the figures weight with a more defined connection to the ground.  

Seaside Memories 36"x24", mixed media on canvas.    This is the first time I used Yes! Canvas in my search for trying to find a surface for working in mixed media.  I am so happy with how it received both wet and dry materials!  I was considering going back to working in mixed media for some time so this first attempt at bringing it to canvas  brings exciting prospects.  Looking forward to continuing my explorations!

Seaside Memories 36"x24", mixed media on canvas.  

This is the first time I used Yes! Canvas in my search for trying to find a surface for working in mixed media.  I am so happy with how it received both wet and dry materials!  I was considering going back to working in mixed media for some time so this first attempt at bringing it to canvas  brings exciting prospects.  Looking forward to continuing my explorations!