Welcome to

The Painting Lesson

by Linda Carson

big black pig studio
98 King St. N., Waterloo Ontario Canada
www.bigblackpig.com


Painting in Layers: A Brief Rant

What's with this persistent delusion that a painting is made with one layer of paint? It just ain't so. Sure, that's the way it works in paint-by-numbers. The perfect colours have already been mixed. Each crisp-edged area is outlined, and numbered for your convenience. It's easy. No decisions, no blending, and you've got exactly the amount of paint you need.

Mona Lisa by numbers; acrylic on hardboard;
6 inches X 6 inches; Carson 2002

On my planet, however, painters almost always work in layers. We work in layers because we make mistakes. We work in layers because we change our minds. We work in layers because the way to paint a picture of a lace doily on a table is to paint a brown tabletop, let it dry, and then paint the little bits of white lace on top. The way not to paint a picture of a lace doily is to paint the doily, then spend weeks filling in little brown bits of table showing through all the holes in the white lace. Most important of all, we work in layers because there are effects you just can't get any other way, including:

The Painting Lesson includes more than fifty paintings. The only one that's a single layer is shown below. It was painted specifically to illustrate alla prima painting—a get-it-right-the-first-time technique—and I wouldn't swear in a court of law that it's entirely single-layer.

Tools; acrylic on hardboard;
6 inches X 6 inches; Carson 2002

Even the paint-by-numbers Mona Lisa (above) took more than one layer because I changed my mind about the background colour.

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Art & Text (C) Linda Carson 2002

Loosely translated, that means:
"Please don't copy this material or redistribute it in some other form, for any reason. This is my livelihood."