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Old 09-08-2018, 11:47 AM
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RobinZ RobinZ is online now
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White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

Here is my first alla prima painting, a white boxer. I have some questions, see underneath the picture?



First off, comments. It's a lot harder than I dreamed. I am used to layering then letting dry. I think I scraped/wiped off more paint than is on the canvas!

Second, I see how the "fresh eye" really helps. Yesterday I loved it, today I see lots of errors.

I am planning on painting a series of boxer dogs, all 6 x6s, for auctions. I like the stretch of painting non-commissions, and excitement of it, and hope to have another income stream from them.

Now here's my two questions: Do you think I need to wire 6 x 6s for hanging? I'm using the standard, not gallery wrapped sides. They really can hang by the stretcher strip.

Second, do you think alla prima is a selling point? Like I say, I can see how this piece could have benefited from a fresh look. On the other hand, if it is a selling point, having to not rely on that crutch could be very "growing" for me.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-08-2018, 04:37 PM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

hugfeasty beasty!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinZ
I think I scraped/wiped off more paint than is on the canvas!
and that's one reason it is a sales argument. if you get that kind of results in one sitting, shout it from the rooftops .
as to the fiddly horrors of hanging. i vote... you do it. sorry.
if you know your audience, you could also wrap any type of cloth ribbon around the sides of the canvas. attach with thick yarn one long stitch, fasten w knot on the back. control fringeing with a dab of glue, let dry off canvas. if you do many at one sitting it's quick.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:04 PM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinZ
Second, do you think alla prima is a selling point? Like I say, I can see how this piece could have benefited from a fresh look. On the other hand, if it is a selling point, having to not rely on that crutch could be very "growing" for me.


No, I don't think anyone would care.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:07 PM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

I like it, but as soon as its dry enough, I think a good oiling out would help with the dull spots of color.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:13 AM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

Thanks, Ron. I don't mind wiring, so will do it. I actually bought a huge box of it at an auction for $1, so have lots!

Thanks Ron, I am undecided which way to go on it. I kind of like the challenge. I described it to my aunt who is also a painter, that it was like sledding downhill rather than walking down the steps.

Freesail, thanks so much.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:32 AM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

Alla prima painting is not a selling point. It is difficult enough for an artist to explain to their viewers and hopefully their buyers why we charge what we charge for a painting...if they think you are knocking these out in a few hours it is harder for a buyer to wrap their head around the price. All to often viewers/buyers do not understand the struggles/years of experience, studies and materials involved before we get to the point of selling our artwork. Your artwork is really great...artist are never "done" with a painting, they just finally move on to something new to paint. Wishing you the best in painting.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:43 AM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

I think your painting is great. I paint alla prima, though I will usually make a couple of adjustments the next day, and if there are fine details that need adding, I wait until the painting is dry. Like with anything else, the more you do, the better you get at it. You won't have to do so much scraping/wiping with subsequent paintings. I look forward to the others in the series.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:42 AM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

Your alla prima efforts are quite impressive, my own are nowhere near as controlled, but I will invariably adjust it after it dries. I feel no compulsion to present work that was finished in one sitting if it doesnít have the quality I desire in a finished work. Once again, fantastic work!
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:25 PM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

I wouldn't think alla prima would be a selling point unless the work was done as part of a plein air event. No foul if you want to rework areas you are not happy with.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:27 PM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

Agreed; alla prima means nothing to buyers. But thatís a beautiful painting youíve done. It has so much personality. Wonderful painting.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:19 PM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

Nice fresh colors. Reflections in the eye are lovely. The back of the head where it meets the shoulders bothers me - looks like a human neck.

I think you'll have to do a few alla prima before you can decide if you like working that way or not. You could always do something in-between if you are looking for speed. Sometimes I paint a value wash on one day, say a couple of hours, and then the next day it's pretty dry, so I paint on top in color, and then that is it. Perhaps a few glaze colors here and there. So it's not true alla prima, but it's not weeks of layer upon layer either.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:10 AM
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Re: White Boxer Dog Xposted in Animals, with Questions

I love this!! I have a flashy fawn so I am a bit partial to boxers, but I also just happen to really enjoy your painting. I think when many of us think of alla prima, we think of the quintessentially painterly effect, with loose brush strokes and a somewhat deconstructed composition, but your painting is very crisp, clear, and suggests a well defined plotted course. Thatís also simply how I tend to paint naturally, so I immediately gravitate towards a tighter painting style, though I am recently consciously working to loosen up.

When I first made the switch from acrylics to oils many, many, many moons ago (nearly twenty years ago), I worked almost strictly alla prima. Painting each section in a single sitting (I think the last time I painted a whole painting in a sitting was when I was a teenager- also many many moons ago) is a strangely liberating/constraining paradox. I donít work that way anymore, thankfully, because frankly I donít want anything to be that hard. Itís hard! Looking back I donít know how I ever completed a painting at all, and I was endlessly frustrated, and never quite satisfied. I marvel at people who make it look so effortless, and I always felt as though I could see the areas I struggled with, and I see no areas of the sort in your painting. No one would guess that you encountered any bumps on the way to completion- every patch of color looks very deliberate. I think if you are wishy washy about your palette and afraid of being unable to control your color choices and placement, it is one of the first things to be noticeably off in alla prima, and I see nothing of the sort here.

That said, I think the average personís understanding of what experience and knowledge goes into a skillfully executed alla prima painting is virtually nil. This is actually true of most art and most people, I should say. My boyfriendís boss asked me to create an 18X18 inch graphite drawing of his niece and granddaughter, and my darling significant other told him that he wouldnít personally pay more than $80 for something similar. It was shocking to me. Like, it kind of made me angry. It can take me 100 hours or more to finish a large drawing with graphite, and $80 is what my own boyfriend thinks those hours and all the years of study are worth.

I would not even mention that the painting is alla prima. I donít consider it necessary. The odds are good that an educated buyer will recognize the method, appreciate your skill and consider it a selling point. An uneducated buyer will likely not fully understand the difference, but will make the mistake of considering it less artful because it requires less work in the traditional sense, without ever taking into account the years of work required to get to that level. Of course, if someone asks, tell them, but even with the most tedious of mediums (ie. colored pencil) no one has asked me how long anything takes and just sort of fall into one of two categories; the people who think it must take very long, and the people who think anything you make with your hands on paper or canvas must just flow out of you at some accelerated rate.

I say just set a price, or in this case a lowest acceptable starting bid at auction, state the materials used, the size, any necessary archival points such as lightfastness or special care instructions and call it good. They will be happy with your boxer dog portrait.
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