Monday, January 17, 2011

Lab Month - New Skies

January and February are often months to experiment with new techniques and subjects and colors. A mask maker friend of mine used to call them lab months. One of my goals this month is to work on more dark mood paintings of which the three above belong. But I am also working on different ways to handle the skies.

This painting is merely a different color of blue sky. I mixed Cobalt blue with carbon black to give it a darker night look. Other than the color the technique of pouring the sky remained the same. The larger painting below in the top painting I used Prothero Blue with the carbon black but did not like how they played together. I came out far too busy for what I wanted to do with the foreground. Dark mood paintings should not have dancing skies in my opinion.

So I put a wash of the original color over the sky and then brushed in a subtle texture with a barely wet brush. I am very fond of the finished effect - well, not finished as there will be stars added.

This sky is a Prussian Blue water based oil. I am working on the assumption that since it stays wet longer I can work the sky longer on bigger canvases. This one is 21 by 36. A friend thinks I can get a more even sky color with the water based oil but only when you add oil to thin and not water. Something I also need to play with no doubt.

BTW the little painting on the top right of the opening picture is more water than sky. I plan to experiment with an iridescent wash over the water to enhance the "liquid" effect. Not all experiments in Lab Month work but I will let you know my successes and failures.


  1. Great! I love the new effects. Look forward to seeing the finsihed paintings, Jacqui!

  2. Jacqui: Walnut oil works really well and doesn't stink. Although I tend to use liquin (which does, a little bit). Keeps the paint wet for quite a while.

  3. It looks good, love the starry skies.


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.