Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Help Needed on Picture #9

I have only painted on canvas until this painting, which is on an Italian gesso board.

I coated the background, watercolour fashion, with ten washes of thinned acrylic. It looked OK until I painted the Samovar, and then it looked too bright so I repainted it as you can see. It was like painting on ice and I can't make it look decent! Help!

The photo isn't very good, and I haven't finished the handles etc.

Second Unrelated Question:
What's the score on masking liquid, please? Do you put it on, and peel it off afterwards  or what?

Backgrounds are a weakness I shall need to focus on.

Thanks in advance!


  1. Gosh! You most have put alot of work into this paintings with all that detail!
    I´ve had a look at your shoes too! Lovely work all of it!

  2. I've never tried painting on that surface before so I'm not sure I'm the one to advise... I can tell you though that to mask, you just apply it where you don't want the paint to go and then you can freely paint over it - but it must be completely dry first. When the painting is done you just rub it off. Magic!
    As for backgrounds - just make sure you keep them simple. Just suggesting is enough because you don't want to draw the eye away from the focus.
    I think your painting ability is startlingly good for someone who has only just started. You are going to over take the lot of us in no time, lol! :0)

  3. That is a most ornate samovar!
    Masking fluid - use old brush, well soaped to keep masking from sticking to and in bristles
    - apply carefully to absolutely dry paper
    - let dry/ paint/ when paint is completely dry, rub off masking
    If you have any questions, John, please ask.

  4. You are painting in acrylic, so I shouldn't give you any advice. I know that in oil painting we are taught to paint the background along with the objects, not as a separate entity. We are taught to pull the background "into" the objects and paint back and forth integrating everything. This takes lots of practice. I'm not sure why you needed to put your background in as thin washes. Still, you've done a great job as always---do some more!

  5. You said it was like painting on ice. Can´t you prepare the paint some how, with sand or something to get some texture to it? Just a thought...

  6. p.s. no masking frisket for you, sir---that is a watercolor thing. You're in a different world now!

  7. I think this is fabulous, John. The detail is amazing and it seems as though the flowers are bursting from flat detail on the samovar to real life flowers bursting forth. You've mastered painting the color silver too.

  8. Maybe you just don't like that surface? I never have--but you try things. Sometimes they work out, sometimes--a lot of times- they don't. I'm with Celeste with regards to what to do with backrounds. The focal object has to be worked into them and visa versa. Objects fade into the background with lines softened. As for masking medium, I've never used it with acrylics; it is a water color item. You want something white, paint it white. Remember that Titanium white is blue, a cool white. I never use white as it comes out of the tube or jar.