Posts Tagged ‘absorbent gesso’

Cays Sunset Revisited

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

After living with “Cays Sunset” (#120701, August 1, 2012, blog) in my studio for a while, I found myself becoming increasingly dissatisfied with it. Despite having reglazed the sky earlier to desaturate it, I felt it remained overly intense. Neither was I content with the rest of the elements in the composition.

I scrubbed the canvas down to reuse. A lot of the pigment washed away, but because of the underlying coats of gesso, much of the watercolor pigment still remained. It spoke well for the absorbency of the gesso, which fulfilled its intention (see blog April 15, 2012). It meant, however, that unless I reworked the same composition with only minor variations, the underlying colors would show through and compromise any new layers.

So I decided to reuse the canvas for an acrylic composition, instead, allowing the underlying watercolors to act as an imprimatura for the new acrylic painting. As it happened, I used the same subject with very few compositional changes in “Cays Sunset Redux” (#121107) below.

121107 Cays Sunset Redux

The chromatic variations across the sky now read better, and the hue and chromatic variations in the water have both improved, while the lines of the ship serve the composition more effectively.

Sometimes it’s worth the risk of wiping the slate clean and taking a fresh tack.