New Block In Technique

New Block In Technique

New Block In Technique Notes

I’ve been working on a new block in technique just for fun. It has worked pretty well so far. I have a pretty deliberate approach to painting, with consideration of palettes, armature, rebatment and composing before I begin. Considering all that, I usually start fairly carefully and slowly with the block in. Lately, I have been using a large brush for block in work with less care in terms of brushwork at the first stages of the process.

New Block In Technique

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I use big brush strokes and  flatten them out with a large dry brush, thinning the paint out on the canvas in value ranges from dark to light. The block in is more scrubby than my normal technique. I also do more layers of transparent colors at this stage. I’ve been using this technique to do a lot of back lit trees. The lighting is striking without putting much detail in the actual painting.

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New Block In Technique

It’s not that the painting is loose and sloppy. It has all the careful composing, value distribution and contrast of my usual technique but the arrival is different. The back lit effort works especially well because the trees and their canopies are quite dark with most of the detail on the edges, as haloes of light on the outside edges. With the atmosphere quality this new block in  technique works very well, leaving a more dreamy look to the distant trees and back ground. I then begin to add more careful strokes in the last third of the painting. I’m having a lot of fun with this technique. It is well suited to acrylic application. Oils would take drying stages between these layers, but with patience, would work too.

New Block in Technique

I’m working on a new commission, 18×22 inches. I have decided to try this new technique for the painting. So far, so good. I may find it successful.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Glazed Carrots

2 lb carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
4 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
Peel carrots, then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place in microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on HIGH 3 minutes.
Preheat large sauté pan on medium. Place oil in pan, then add carrots, salt, and pepper; cook and stir until tender.
Combine sugar, broth, vinegar, and cherries, then add to carrot mixture; cook and stir 2–3 minutes or until mixture thickens. Chop parsley. Arrange carrots on serving platter; top with parsley and cheese.


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3 thoughts on “New Block In Technique

  1. Would be interested in seeing an example. Acrylic is so hard for me. Oil much easier so I tend to use acrylic just for values under painting.

    • Pat,
      Don’t give up on acrylics. It took me about 8 years to figure them out, but I am slow. Now I absolutely love them. They are a different animal entirely than oils, though now my paintings look the same. People cannot tell my oils from my acrylics. The process is quite different though. It does take lots of experimenting and process, but worth the time and effort. A lot of painters make them look thin and plasticity. They don’t have to be.

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