Icing Up

TM8460 Icing Up 17x17 oil on panel

TM8460 Icing Up 17×17 oil on panel

After a few months of puzzling over how to paint ice on the pond, I think I may be finding a way. Icing Up is the first resolved painting of leaves caught under a thin, but solid, layer of ice. It is based on photos I took in November. The photos intrigued me. I’ve included a few below.

Looking through ice to leaves below, with ghostly reflections of trees

Photo-Looking through ice to leaves below, with ghostly reflections of trees

Pattern of ice on the pond

Photo-Pattern of ice on the pond

November morning at the pond - first real ice condition

Photo-November morning at the pond – first real ice condition

Technical painting notes: The key to finding a way to deal with the layered ice condition was learning to use my brayer to put down layers of paint, then re-rolling those layers while they were still wet. The effect was similar to encaustic, creating a hazy, abstract underpainting with a feel of layers seen through a fog. I scratched some dashes onto the surface, and sprinkled solvents (which were also rolled and re-rolled). Once the initial layer dried, I was able to enhance a few details with direct oil painting, then layer numerous glazes for a subtle color. Some spattering suggested duckweed caught in the ice. Another key to accomplishing the painting was keeping to the initial abstractness of the image, and not over doing it. Detail below. Note the layers of manipulated solvent drops and spatters and marks “scratched” into wet glazes.

TM8460 Icing Up - detail from center right showing layered leaves under a thin film of ice

TM8460 Icing Up – detail from center right showing layered leaves under a thin film of ice

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