4 Paintings That Rock & Why

7 Sep 2014

And what do they all have in common? They are all done with acrylic painting techniques.

Peter Drake's Mother W/Out is an unusual but fairly uncomplicated composition that makes the viewer question if the figure is real or a figment. The way the artist has diluted the paint near the back of the head and along the edges of the dress give the figure almost transparent edges. The paint loses body and becomes lighter in some areas, and maintains its density toward the core of the figure's body.

Mother W/Out by Peter Drake, 2004, acrylic painting on canvas, 30 x 29.
Mother W/Out by Peter Drake, 2004, acrylic painting
on canvas, 30 x 29.

A Bigger Splash is an iconic image from David Hockney, and one that shows the typical characteristics of acrylic paint with its flat slabs of lively color. Enough said!

A Bigger Splash by David Hockney, 1967, acrylic painting.
A Bigger Splash by David Hockney,
1967, acrylic painting.

Take any work of Jose Manuel Ballester and you will feel so much in spite of yourself. The works are starkly monochromatic and almost plain in their lack of any kind of ornamentation, but there is so much energy there. In Untitled, notice how deft the artist is when it comes to painting with acrylics, as the surface of the painting is both built up and almost wash-like in different passages.

Untitled by Jose Manuel Ballester, acrylic painting on glued paper on board, 1995.
Untitled by Jose Manuel Ballester, acrylic painting on glued paper on board, 1995.

In Naomi Campbell's Those Little Understood, the artist started painting with acrylics and added water-soluble oils that allowed her to layer quick brushstrokes over her ground without disturbing its surface. Although more of a sketch than anything else, the painting has a good grasp on muted colors without being dull or boring.

Those Little Understood by Naomi Campbell, 2011, acrylic painting with water-soluble oils.
Those Little Understood by Naomi Campbell, 2011,
acrylic painting with water-soluble oils.

What intrigued me about all of these paintings is that while they may have all been created with one type of paint, that is where the unity ends. There is such a diversity in these artists' methods that the only way to really understand them is to steep myself in all kinds of acrylic painting techniques--not just one kind. And that is where Chris Cozen's Acrylic Painting Kit comes in. The technical painting know-how is there and if you are seeking insights into painting essentials, this is a "must" for you. Enjoy!


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Comments

onimag wrote
on 30 May 2012 3:26 PM

You describe Campbell's painting as "more of a sketch", implying that it's not good enough in some respect to be regarded as a "real" painting. What's your criteria please?

Thanks, Gary

on 4 Jun 2012 10:28 AM

Hey Gary,

What I meant by sketch was that the strokes were looser and the objects more abstracted. Many people enjoy more fully finished works but I happen to like paintings that have the feel of something done with immediacy or in the moment. So I'd have to say that I think it is quite "good enough" and as real as any other painting.

Ethel Grogan wrote
on 8 Sep 2014 11:08 AM

Although "Mother W/out" may suggest her as a figment, I see her in movement.   Her face arms and hands have definition which define her as real but her body is in motion suggesting distress of some sort as does her position or attitude.  A possibility?

rendykay wrote
on 6 Oct 2014 12:24 AM

I have no trouble believing that Woman W/out is a real figure, but I see her in transition passing from one phase into another, suggested by the softness of her dress and parts of the figure. Also, her expression (which I can't make out all that well) seems one of  being relaxed, even pleased.  Her hands are raised up and her face lifted.  Maybe she is just happy to face the sun.