Tuesday, July 15, 2014


"It is Not all Black and White #4"
Acrylics on canvas 
14" X 18"

We are in the Middle of the Summer, here in Southern Alberta.
Summer in Canada means forest fires all through out the North and far North.
For that fact any well forested area is prone  to fire.
The Lightning, combined with the heat, dry conditions all contribute to this devastating phenomena.

I grew up in Northern Manitoba, Canada, and we were all aware of the impact these fires would 
have on our lives.
We were all aware that every able bodied man would (and usually was) conscripted to fight them.

Todays painting depicts such a thing.
I hope I have represented both the devastating effects of fire as well as the hope for rebirth after the burn is done.
I will post photos of this canvas in order of preparation and progress.

Initially, I had no idea of the best way to paint fire of any type.
I had never even attempted to do this before so it was a learning thing for me every step.
I knew that yellow and red made orange, and that brown added would add distance to the flames.
This painting was done with six colours.
(All Golden Acrylic fluid)
Hansa Yellow
Yellow Oxide
Quintacridone Nickle Azo Gold
Pyrrole Red
Bone Black 
Van Dyke Brown.
Initially, I lay out drops of the colours in a circle on my Pallette
and dipped a very large fine haired brush in them.
I then dabbed the tip of the brush on paper towels turning the brush every time I blotted it
and mixed the colours randomly that way.
I achieved this effect on the canvas with my loaded brush.

The top left corner was scumbled Brown with carbon black, this gave me a perspective point.
I then followed with a very basic outline of my main trees drawn on the canvas with a
Watercolour pencil.
(I love watercolour pencils for drawing ideas on my canvas' as the marks wash off so easily.)

Then I focused on the fire burning actively in the background

 from there it was just a matter of how I wanted to proceed.

I began to shape and form the trees that would frame the approaching fire.

With this done I refined the trees and foreground, and began to add the darkness
in the area of the viewers eyes.
and I finished it off.

I would like to thank the many photographers that posted Fire images to the internet.
They were invaluable and I am sure I could not have done this without their daring
and astounding works.
This painting is a compilation of many images, and for that I am grateful.
A side note:  I have never liked working on a smooth canvas, so as is with most of my painting I had
prepared the canvas initially with a layer of Goldens regular Gel, and gessoed over that.
The canvas is intentionally Not smooth.

All comments and inquiries welcomed.