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Thread: Experiments with Impasto

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Down a hole

    Experiments with Impasto

    Hi ArtRagers,
    'Tis been a very long time since I surfaced here, so a big HI to all my old friends & a cheery wave to all new people on the forum.

    Well, as the title says I've been experimenting with paint thickness, trying to get that 'Oil' feeling going, so here's a couple of paintings.
    The elephant is from a reference image I found. I've tried to get that thick thick oil paint with tube & a loaded knife..
    The 'Wave' abstract, has a again a lot of thickness and layers. Again, tube, loaded knife, glitter & warp.
    I'd love to hear your opinions regarding the technique.
    C&C most welcome.

    Cheers y'all,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Cool stuff.

    C&C: I'm going to just blurt out my impressions, but understand that I understand that I don't know what problems you were looking to solve. So. . . adjust what I say to what you were trying to do.

    In the elephant one it's not that appealing compared to the water one. I personally would do something to not make every mark the same. I think I think the composition (ie picture design how you stage and break up the space) could be a little more mindful of aiming for a naturalness. So what I'm seeing is that the impasto is very self conscious drawing attention to itself with little goopy bits peppered throughout at the cost of the subject. It flattens the image. I think of woodcuts and crafts and such. I assume there was a certain Van Gogh sensibility or Braque style and I think you could still get some mileage out of that once you get more of a handle on the picture making of it. More interesting color variations might help. But that's just my opinion. I'm sure others could well like it.

    On the other hand, I think it works really well with the wave. The long curving strokes with the color variations is balanced very well. And that swirly filagree kind of mark feels more natural, fuller and not so redundant. I also really love the variation of how and where you chose to put the impasto effect. The overall composition works fantastic as a design. The hierarchy of importance is very clear and so I find that my eye is shooting the curl which is something people do in a spot like that. So it works in all respects. I don't know what you did differently in this one but I like that the impasto ridges are present but more fluid. The closeness of the ridges works with the picture to support the theme. Top marks on this one. Bullseye!

    I think that you could do a whole lot with impasto once you explore how to wrangle in a selective way the distinctive appearances can serve your picture. When it works, I really like it.

    Great foray. The elephant theme is kind of on topic when one thinks of the theme perhaps of exploration.

    Good stuff, Flyashy! Great seeing your process.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Down a hole
    Heya Professor,
    Thank you so much for such a deep analysis!
    You're quite correct about the elephant, 'twas but a trial of a painting technique that I was trying out. The wave on the other hand was more from the heart as I kept getting more comfortable with the impasto, & I guess it shows
    I was trying to figure out a way of doing this (see attached image) in ArtRage and these were pretty much byproducts.
    As always there are so many things I want to try out that I pretty much end up running before walking
    Thanks so much for the insights & the kind words,
    Great to hear from you.
    Cheers!Name:  f45fd008dde327be2d9f42f97bb09fc1.jpg
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    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

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