I have begun to paint my subjects, using thicker layers of acrylics than yesterday, much less water, adding some acrylic gel medium to get it to glide on the canvas better. Departing from my usual style of painting ultra realistic, I am trying bigger, broader strokes. I want it to look realistic, but show more emotion. I am building up my subject in a way that I call 'sculpting' ...layering the color, glazing with transparent paints for the shadows. I have started adding a few areas that have thick, textured paint to give some dimension.
I have built up the background with a series of whites...flake white, titanium white, bamboo, and unbleached titanium. I want to leave the background neutral and capable of letting the subject pop off and OUT of the canvas. My idea is to create something from nothing...I am creating my own squash out of paint and brush strokes, and I want it to leap out at the observer.