Oranges | Jeffrey Smith

Orange Reflections

How loose and free can your paint application be at the start? That was the question that I asked myself for this painting.

I was curious about what it would feel like to start a painting with some loose spots of color and then pull the image together gradually using layers of transparent and opaque paint.

I have spent this last year experimenting with different water-media. This picture is the result of my first time working with the Golden High Flow Acrylic paints. They have a super concentrated pigment load and are about the consistency of ink. Unlike most inks or watercolors, many of these paints are opaque. Because of that, you can go back in and make corrections and changes. Because these paints are acrylic, they dry very quickly and you can layer to your heart’s content without disturbing any of the previous layers of paint.

In contrast to these acrylic paints and this painting approach, when starting a painting with watercolors, it’s critical to have a solid drawing and a plan for your painting. The white of the paper has to be preserved in order to show up in your final painting. making changes and correction is certainly possible when working with watercolor, but often those corrections look very noticable. You lose the feeling of looseness and ease that I love in well-planned watercolor painting.

I started with an assortment of flat brushes trying to use the largest brush that I could. As the painting progressed and I started to refine shapes and colors, I switched to a small round for some details.

In addition to the fluid acrylic paint that I was using, this was my first time working on rough watercolor paper. For this layered process, the texture and tooth of the paper was a very welcome thing. I think the texture of the paper really added to the final painting.

Orange Reflections | Jeffrey Smith
“Orange Reflections”, 12×9″, acrylic on watercolor paper

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