“The Naphthol Crimson Wrench Head Danny” – taming transparencies and sizes

For some reason this particular crimson is hard to manage. Not sure why that is but I am not getting the results I should be getting by now on my latest canvas. It seems like this red is quite problematic for me. I look at my previous paintings where I have used it. It always felt like I was missing something. For example, My Mother as the Guardian Angel of Angels has that red and even though I believe I finished the painting, every time I look at it I feel like my characters are not done yet.

My Mom as the Guardian Angel of Angels is still waiting for my final decision.

A similar feeling I get when I look at a part in another painting (The Flight) where I have this angel carrying a bunch of blue characters on its wings. The area where I have used the crimson feels, for some reason, unfinished. I am trying to understand what is happening there. I do like these two mysterious characters appearing on the upper left of the canvas, but then I have this strip of plain red right where the wings start and it feels like it is too flat or something.

The naphthol crimson feels too flat being by itself on large areas on this work in progress (The Flight).

This small red painting I work on has become more of a pink canvas by now because of all this white I have mixed into the crimson. And again I don’t feel like it is finished yet. A painting with similar characters using another color would be already done.

The naphthol crimson becomes very pink here because of the white I have added onto the canvas.

It could be that this particular red doesn’t like to be used in the fashion I am approaching it, mixing it with the white. That red works in The Interrupted Tea Party because I have the hooker’s green hue there, which balances it out.

I worked with thick layers of colors on The Interrupted Tea Party.

It seems like this red is tricky, but I am going to find how to reveal its beauty. The naphthol crimson is captivating, but I do need to keep myself from using another color, because right now I am making the same mistake I made on The Interrupted Tea Party. I introduced the primary blue on the latest canvas and, of course, I got the Pepsi-Cola colors again even though I am not using the colors as thickly as I used them in The Interrupted Tea Party.

This red worked well when it was barely visible underneath a layer of white. Maybe that is what needs to happen on this canvas? Maybe I need to cover the whole thing with the white and “bleach” the crimson this way?

That is not a bad idea, but I am not sure if that plays along with my original plan for this painting. I need to make this crimson work for me. If it takes a bit longer to figure it out, so be it. It is an enticing color, but I am not fully familiar with its characteristics yet.

I should say I was nicely surprised by the transparency of the orange and the violet I got on my previous canvases. I used a lot of water with them. The colors laid down on surface beautifully giving me gorgeous effects.

The transparency of cadmium orange gives me exactly what I need for this canvas (Cadmiun Orange Desert).
The transparency of this violet guided me on this canvas (The Turtle Baby of Memories with a Hard on).

This naphthol crimson and the turquoise green are opaque so their relationship with the water is different. They are not giving the transparency I thought I would get when diluting the paint.

I approached this red the way I approached the cadmium orange and the violet which were transparent. This naphthol crimson is opaque. The results are obviously different.

With the turquoise green I have a love/hate relationship. It took quite a bit of my time to figure it out on my Turquoise Green Angel. The turquoise green loves to be mixed with the white. I am still not sure how I am going to solve this one area on the large canvas (The Flight ) where I have the same red I work with now. It is a weird painting and I should say I don’t know if I have finished it yet. Maybe it has to live like that for a while. If I see that the painting is not demanding me to work on it, I am going to leave it the way it is now.

For some reason I started having more issues with my large canvases. I am not sure why that is, but almost every large painting has something I am not fully satisfied with the way I am with my small canvases. It could be that the small canvases look better because of the size of my room. They are going to look quite different in a bigger space while the opposite applies to my large paintings.

There is something that works nicely with this size of paintings on my walls. It probably has something to do with the proportions of my windows and empty walls.

This should not stop me from exploring large canvases the way I am working with my small ones. I might need a bit more space when applying the paint. I have to step further back from my large canvases if I want to see everything that appears on them, while with the small ones I can sit just a few feet away and get all the information for my next brush strokes. I need to find that sweet spot which cracks open the beauty of the large canvases. I am probably more familiar with smaller sizes by now. They feel “homey” to me. Every time I take on a new large canvas my feelings get enhanced. I need to adopt this feeling by taming my colors with it.

I tend to lay my paint with more energetic movements on large canvases. I need to watch where my paint lands. I already see many spots on the floor. I need to cover it to be able to splatter all this paint around. I guess that is a part of my discomfort with the large canvases. I have to constantly check the surroundings for paint stains.

It would be better to work on large canvases in an open space, outside the house perhaps, where I literally could spill the water and the paint around without fearing the paint stains on floors, walls and furniture. I found myself cleaning a lot last night. That took my expressive brush strokes away. This could be one of the reasons why I feel more comfortable working on small canvases in my room. I need more space to be able to dance with my large canvases.

Originally written on 02-07-18

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