I demoed for the RCAS - Richardson Civic Art Society in March 2019 and they did a really good write-up (below) for their members of my demo in their newsletter, The Sketchpad. I thought this article would be helpful to anyone interested in learning a little about some of my techniques.
MARCH, 2019 DEMONSTRATION - RCAS (Richardson Civic Art Society)
Jo Moncrief — Acrylic Pour Demonstration (article for members)
Jo is a self-taught artist. She has taken painting and
ceramics courses in college and has taken workshops
and classes from artists whose artwork she admires.
She began her demonstration by first making sure the
area, table, and artists were well-protected for spills and
splatters in a pour. She explained that she uses inexpensive
plastic bowls from Dollar Tree for paint, which
can later be peeled out of the bowls to use and incorporate
in other artwork if desired.
She also uses condiment plastic bottles or sports bottles to hold paint and
paint combinations which can be mixed in bowls, or poured directly from the bottles. She uses golf tees to plug these bottles and puts Vaseline on the tips so they don't get stuck from dried paint. She has found that the best mixture of paint is 3 fingers from a tube of paint, 2
fingers of pouring medium and 1 finger of distilled water. The paint needs to have body and not be too thin.
Some describe the consistency as that of warm honey.
She saves a lot of money on paint by reading paint labels
and finding cheaper paint that uses the very same
ingredients as more expensive ones. For example, her
favorite yellow is PY83 which she mixes with her base
colors to make many other colors. The first letter P is the
abbreviation for pigment. The letter (or letters) indicates the
color. Y means yellow, R means red, B means blue, O
means orange, V means purple, G means green, Br
means brown, Bk means black and W means white.
The number identifies the chemical formula of the pigment.
Different brands have different names for their
colors, but the pigment identification will be the same
regardless of the brand name.
She begins each painting as a wet into wet pouring of
colors. This method allows colors to explode, mingle
and blend with each other - creating magical, unique
and unpredictable effects that simply cannot be painted
by hand. She follows the same basic design that works
well in realistic or nonrepresentational works. Allowing
the paint to flow, she uses composition, hues, values,
principles, and elements of design, contrast and the rule
of thirds while working through a painting to finality.
She often checks for a good balance of values with
greyscale photos on her phone.
If two colors are too much the same value, she adjusts one color to make one
lighter or darker than the other. She tries to stay around 3 values. She’ll also use a notan of a photograph to get inspiration for an abstract design. A notan is an ideal
type of study for finding the shapes and patterns that serve as the foundation of every composition. Notan is a Japanese word that means “light-dark balance.”
Her color palette is very simple: She uses an
80/20 ratio of warm and cool colors in her
paintings. She often uses a complementary
color of the dominant color for an
underpainting. Any color that shows through is
exciting. She suggests learning about Munsell
colors. There is a good article on the Mun-sell
color wheel at https://munsell.com/color-blog/
analogous/. She advised
artists to identify the painting's bias—what
color does it lean towards?
She sketches in charcoal lines to map out the rule of thirds for her basic composition, trying
not to make the center of a painting the focus. To make texture, she’ll use modeling paste on
top of the gessoed canvas. She carves styrofoam plates to use as ink pads on deli
paper to make various textures that she often incorporates in her paintings, too.
When she pours onto a previously painted canvas, she’ll often wet the surface to help the
paint flow better. To help direct the pours, she’ll tip the canvas, use tools like putty
knives, brushes of all sizes, and sometimes sprays drier paint with alcohol to create
interesting patterns. She encourages experimenting as happy accidents often lead
the paintings into un-directed designs.
She has used additions of people, dogs or cats to create a center of attention on an abstract if it needs it.
She suggests stopping when the painting is 95% done, as more people overwork a painting than not.
Upon completion, her artwork is sealed in a UV polymer varnish that protects the surface from dust and dirt and helps to prevent fading due to ultraviolet radiation.
In 2016, two of her paintings, Turbulence & Tranquility and Searching for What Was, were
accepted into North Light Books’ fourth annual Best of Acrylic competition Acrylic Works 4: Captivating Color! The book was released in May, 2017. The artwork accepted in the book shows excellence and originality in acrylic paint achieved via a variety of styles and subjects.
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