Manhattan Bridge Series #6 11×14 Graphite on Paper

Shortly before I left Brooklyn, another client contacted me wanting a painting for her office. She has several unique criteria. First, it has to cover an ugly x-ray reader, so the painting requires a deep canvas. Second, she wants the painting to mimic one of my graphite drawings, #6, but with flecks of red.

This is going to take some doing! The deep canvas will not be a problem since Dick Blick has canvases which are almost 3″ thick. A canvas that thick requires that the image wraps around the side for continuity so that it doesn’t look sloppy nor incomplete. This also frees the client from having the piece framed which helps those on a budget.

But the flecks of red are going to be a challenge. If you’ll remember from earlier posts, my “style” with acrylic paints has a lot of blending using black and/or white. This helps to create depth with color. But when you add black or white to red, it shifts the color toward brown or pink respectively. And I’m pretty sure my client does NOT want pink!!

So I’m going to have to get creative with how I solve this problem. There is a technique called impasto, which requires a thick application of paint. That way, I can essentially continue to paint in black and white, using gradation, but allow flecks of red to show through the final paint. Not only that, the thick application of paint will create more visual interest in what is basically a black, white, and grey composition. It will be fun to try a new method for painting, but also a bit hair-raising because I’m not sure how it will turn out. Experimentation with a new style of painting on a commission piece feels like living life on the edge.