What if I…

…tried to paint one of my line drawings really really big on canvas with acrylic paint?  What would happen?  Would it work? Would it turn out the same as the original sketch in watercolor? or turn out altogether different?

I’ve done this before…many years ago.  And I’ve wanted to return to this idea for over a year now, but my thought was to somehow retain that watercolor look in my sketchbooks.  Seems like the time for blasting through whatever it is that’s holding me back on several fronts.

So I came home recently with a 30″ x 40″ canvas, determined to give it a go.  I really should have gotten a square canvas, but I didn’t see the size I wanted at our local A.C. Moore (50% off just can’t be beat!).  I began freehand drawing the image while looking at my original sketch.  MUCH more difficult to do on a large scale and work within set boundaries that are rectangular rather than square, like my sketchbook.  After what seemed like hours on the pencil sketch, I began right in with acrylic to mark the lines.  Once the lines were painted…a quandary set in.

How to go in with color inside the shapes?  Acrylic is NOT  a fluid medium (at least I don’t have the fluid acrylics, and after this experience, I may invest in a few to see if they behave more like watercolors??).  So trying to get that look of freedom, fluidity, and effervescence that seems a bunch easier in a 9″ x 9″ sketch with watercolor, was proving very trying in this medium.  I found myself back in the days of working color all over the shapes. And I wasn’t sure I was liking it.

It seems to me, at some point in the RE-creative process (and to be sure whenever an artist attempts to create from his/her original sketch, it is a re-creative work, rather than an original one), the artist must LET GO of whatever pre-conceived notions are flying around as to how it will evolve and turn out.  This one, in particular, has required a lot of “letting go”!

Here’s the original sketch.  Quite a different matter, eh?  I hesitate to put them on the same page.  They are almost two completely different paintings.  But the more I look at the canvas, without reference to its original sketch, the more I like it.  It’ll be just the thing to fill in the empty space in my studio.  I think I’ll enjoy it there.  But first it will hang out in an art show for a month or so:)

***If you’re in the area, this piece will be in the upcoming show, “LINES”, at Associated Artists of Winston-Salem, on the corner of 4th and Cherry St., downtown Winston.  The opening reception is this Thursday from 5-7 pm.  I’m planning on being there sometime after 5:30. It’d be great to see you and you’re sure to enjoy wonderful art inspired by lines.

0 thoughts on “What if I…

  1. Alex Tan says:

    What a nice comparison between medias, and I can’t decide which one I like better. But one thing is true which is that your style of coloring and lines is remained, and that’s the best of all!

  2. Yevgenia Watts says:

    I think it turned out great – and my applause to you for tackling a 30×40 canvas! If it were my painting though, I would get rid of the dark blue window bar that is right on top of her head. It’s not an issue in the sketch because it’s so light in value but it kind of bugs me in the acrylic version. But maybe you had something in mind when you put it there 🙂

    Love the lines 🙂

    • jenpedwards says:

      Hi Yevgenia! I liked the blue window bar there for its dark value in that spot…it needed a balance to the dark values in the painting and I wanted it to set off the flowers. If you hold your hand over that bar, the painting loses its “umph” and balance. Not very technical in my explanation, but there it is. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Deborah says:

    You did a fabulous job with this 🙂 Guess what? As it looks now I am coming to the Art Show at Associated Artists Thursday night!!!! I am so excited! I would love to meet you and see this piece of art up close and in real life!!! See you Thursday. It will most likely be around 5:30 or 6:00 before I can get there…

  4. Timaree (freebird) says:

    Good luck with your show. I’ve tried only a small bit with acrylic. It dries before I can spread a brushstroke or two and is quite frustrating. (I live in the desert where it is very dry). I think you’ve done a great job and you really do need to look at each as a different painting.

  5. Krista Meister says:

    What an interesting experiment… thanks for sharing your process with the acrylic painting. I’ve often wondered if I’d like to try it too. I like the different results you got from both, but in the end, my heart belongs to watercolor so I lean more toward your sketch. Beautiful work1

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