Breaking Old Habits

"Elkhorn View"
oil on stretched canvas, 16" x 20"

There are ingrained, old, tested habits that keep raising their head and clucking at me.
After twenty years of developing my hand at creating fresh, crisp watercolors, I am finding that much of the color mixing methods (not principles) and putting it on the surface of the painting are terribly different from those demanded by oil paint.

I find that when a painting dries, I am disappointed in the thickness of the paint on the surface . . .Where did it all go?. . . .there isn't enough to create the sort of textures I am after. Mind you, I am not making frisbees (thanks for that expression, Robin!) of them, but I am looking for thick, juicy paint. When painting alla prima, there must be a way to insure that I am getting it as thick as I want it. In wondering about this, I began to observe how I am picking the paint off the palette. What I see is that I am not slobbering the paint all over the brush.

So, determined to do so . . .and to handle the brush differently in the painting execution (another subject) . . . I set out for Elhorn Slough on Sunday to met two guys for some sunshine, scenery and painting. I had a 16 x 20 inch canvas with me that had been toned with a nice layer of acrylic paint . . .to (hopefully) seal the canvas and gesso and slow the paint absorption. Well, some of my goals worked. I am gradually tuning in to this process . . . .but I sure did enjoy the afternoon. The wildlife there is really incredible!
Elkhorn Slough is a salt water wetland. The yellow gray 'stuff ' at the edges of the water is a moss and salt combination. It looks odd, but it certainly adds to the scenery.

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