Log of the process of a painting I’m painting for our new Family Room

1. Day 1, May 2, 2021: I finally remember what paint smells like! I haven’t really seriously painted in several months and today I started a 30” X 40” canvas with a personal goal in mind. I previously purchased a canvas for $60 (on sale) rather than $100-200 or more for that size in a gallery wrap canvas. It’s all an experiment, so I didn’t want to invest in a really expensive canvas, but this one will serve the purpose well enough. I have been gathering some wonderful fabrics from a collection by Marcia Derse called “Art History 101” and I want to paint a painting that will complement the fabrics, work on the difficult wall that the TV is on, and repeat some of the elements of the gorgeous tiles on the floor and surrounding the fireplace. There are many colors involved in both tiles, few of them in my normal palette, so I’m beginning by trying to cover the canvas as I explore colors that I rarely use. Can I make lots of creams, beiges and khakis? We shall soon find out! The canvas is primed, divided up into a rough grid that is similar to the geometric designs formed by the fireplace and kitchen backsplash designs, and I started with the light yellow and green blocks and then got serious with the Khaki Challenge, remembering the words of the Little Train—“I think I can, I think, I can. . . . . “ 

I CAN! And we’re off!

This is the diagram that I planned out on graph paper to “organize” the composition and fit the 30″ X 40″ canvas.

I started by mixing colors for the yellow and green shapes from some of my normal Nova acrylic colors. But they are too pure. The next layer(s) will be grayed down by adding the complementary colors to the original yellow and white and green and white. So, I’ll add red to the green and purple to the yellow but I’ll hope some of the pure color shows through here and there. All is not lost!

A closer view of one of the khaki blocks which I made by mixing white, yellow, green, and Burnt Sienna. Each of the khaki blocks used those same colors but in different proportions.

I usually clean off my brushes on another canvas and I did that today to use up left-over paint without wasting it. This is just a small 12″ X 12″ canvas that I started something on at one time or another and will cover with bits of paint and then start a new painting on it. I’ll show you it’s progress right along with my large painting so you can see what I do with it.

I started the journaling process in a new document and I’ll add to it as the painting develops and blog each day as I have time and energy. Stay tuned to see what happens as the Khaki Challenge continues!