Red Riding Hood

Acrylic on canvas 11 x 14 inches

I saw this movie recently, Red Riding Hood, and the luscious fairy tale cinematography really caught my imagination.  I have always  loved fairy tales, and this one seemed just right to try painting a few of those fleeting still shots from the film, and my own imagination!  This was a difficult painting for me — I used Golden’s gel medium “Fibre Paste” as a texture layer – not so good for this kind of a painting.  It dried to a really hard finish that looked something like 1950’s California stucco.  I couldn’t even sand it away.  I probably should have started a new canvas, but I was already partially invested in the painting before I realized it was going to be an issue.  The plastic surface was the thing that really put me off.  On the jar it says “A flexible film with a handmade paper appearance.  Use as a texture or as a ground on canvas or board.”   I liked the idea of a handmade paper appearance – but that isn’t what it looked like at all, and I kept thinking I could make it better somehow.  No.  It made all the acrylic layers turn very patent leathery, and I kept trying to sand them off, I tried matte medium, I tried all my tricks for decreasing the inherent plastic look of acrylic, which I usually do not have a problem manipulating into a less plastic looking surface.  I can only assume it was the “Fiber Paste” ground layer.  Anyway – this looks about as good as its going to look.  I can’t seem to figure out why they call it a “look of handmade paper?”  Doesn’t look like any handmade paper I’ve ever seen.  So I gave up painting and just attacked it vigorously with sandpaper.  I do kind of like how the sandpaper made the stucco look like snow, I thought that was kind of neat.  Anyway, I’m working on some other paintings in this theme without the ” handmade paper” look.  Now I’m trying encaustic, just a clear layer of beeswax – this hasn’t worked out to well for me either — you will see what I mean in my next post!

PS:  Do visit Michele’s blog to see her really powerful images of Red Riding Hood – her’s are so beautiful I am totally inspired and a little daunted – she is an amazing artist!


2 responses »

  1. It is interesting isn’t it. As artists we share our ups and downs of our efforts and the products we use. The hits and misses which is great, as we all learn, not only the efforts and emotions of the artist but the materials and how they react. What I am getting around to is, I studied the painting before I read your comments and I marvelled at the surface you created, the effect of the ageing, the gloss, yet the disturbance of that gloss giving it a mysterious look. I welcomed your comments on struggle but ultimately your painting now stands on its own as a beautiful, mysterious ‘Red Riding Hood’. To me your struggle has paid off regardless of the product that didn’t live up to it advertising. Well done…looking forward to the encaustic happening.

  2. Rosemary,
    Thank you so much! I think I needed to hear that. As you say, we get caught up in the mistakes, and the hit and miss of our art – and the obvious gets lost in all that worry about the creation of the product! Thank you.

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