I worked all night on the sky and Martin Luther on the horse. At the art supply store, the best thing I found was YES paste. It has a thickness, is archival and does not yellow after time which does not make a significance difference in the painting because I mixed it with liquid acrylics to create a relatively stable color.
The blow dryer ran for hours last night as I worked feverishly to surprise the Police Officer next door. It was he who suggested the sky be done in that way. I told him that I had considered doing it in that technique but when he said to consider it, it sealed the plan. He will be surprised the next time I call him over to see the painting.
Using a plastic spoon, I scooped out 3 heaping teaspoons in a metal mixing cup then added an estimated 2 tablespoons of liquid acrylic color. Mixing it in my hand, I found the warmth of my hand against the metal cup allowed the YES paint to soften to a little thicker consistency than honey, then let it stiffen at room temperature.
I applied “globs” and “globs” to the painting then when through them with the brush to create trails swirling around. It was more difficult than I imagined. It is not easy to swirl designs and make them look light and airy. I let the sky travel on to Martin Luther’s cheek and face to make him become one with the sky, as he is now.
After drying the paste and paint to a solid enough surface to lightly brush, I initially and very lightly brushed pastel colors over the ridges of texture. The effect was unacceptable as it is too small of an area (believe it or not) to go from light to the dark of the accompanying Locust on the right side, so I darkened the sky.
Using bold colors mimicking the backdrop of the television show Who’s Line Is It Anyway, made from bold, bright colors I dried them and highlighted the sky in white for uniformity. The bold color showed modestly in the deep texture and the white is on the protruding texture followed by Interference Blue to blend in the Locust.
I wrote backwards above Martin Luther’s head: PROFOUND INSPIRATION which will only be visible via X-ray, and maybe not even then since this section of the painting is on a custom, wood (Birch) canvas. It was my thank you to him for his sacrifice to make the world better for all of us, a private message…
When I went to Michael’s, I custom ordered the last 5 gallery wrap canvases needed for the painting. I have 4 wooden canvases coming and that will be finally, after 12 years, the entire 30 canvases I need to complete the painting. The gallery wraps are around $110.00 a piece and they were on sale…what a lucky find!
Actually I needed one extra canvas because I used one years ago painting gigantic red blood cells. That canvas will be used in the painting and painted over. Just know that the blood of life is pulsating under this painting as blood pulsates under our skin keeping us alive. A beautiful thought, a beautiful vision!