jeanhar1@zazzle.com

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Alla Prima Painting

Interview with Artist
Jean Hart
 
People often ask me if my paintings are oil?
 
No, I am an Acrylic artist.
Acrylic is a relatively new material.
I like it because it dries fast and I can get on with painting quickly.
Acrylic contains pigments that are suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. One really cool thing about the acrylic  paint is that it can be diluted with water. I can thin it down to resemble watercolor paints, on the other hand I can build it up with gels, media, or pastes to resemble oil painting.
Once it dries it's water resistant and permanent.
 
Do you under paint your paintings?
 
When I first started to paint. It was a labor of love. I would gesso my canvas's, 3 times. Even if the pre-made canvas's said they were already gassoed. This I still do.
I work out my painting, until the composition looks balanced.
I have done the under painting and building up with glazes, but I have found that with acrylics you can just paint over each layer and cover up anything that needs to be fixed. So, I have given up the under painting style. My work tends to be quick, and Alla Prima.
 
Alla Prima?
 
Yes, it's also called "direct painting".
  It became popular in the 19th century. The Impressionists were the first to use this style. It's spontaneous and has painterly qualities that I like. The brushstrokes are  bold, loose, and suggestive. Because the strokes are quickly painted  the accuracy of shapes and forms become less important. The painting takes on a more abstract, loosely painted suggestion.
 
Do you consider yourself to be a realistic painter?
 
That's interesting.
I once had an instructor who told me that I had to pick what kind of artist of was going to be, portrait, landscape, floral....etc. My question back was, Why can't I paint everything?
 I guess that's not how it's done in the art world.
 It's how I paint though. I paint what interests me.
My portraits are as real as I can make them.
But, my other paintings, are much freer in thought and accuracy. Lets, say I paint a tree and a bird, which  are  in many of my paintings. You, look at the painting and you say, I love the tree and bird. Well, I'm happy you saw a tree and bird.
Is it a real tree or a real bird?
Probably not. It only exists in my mind.
That's my artists license.
My first love is illustration. So I paint like an illustrator.
Many of my paintings first start with a Title.
Maybe a storyline.
Then the painting starts.
For me, what's important is that I paint.
My question to you is,
Which method suits you, careful planning in layers, or alla prima?
Be Inspired,
~jean