It was a lot of fun oiling up the acrylic painting in the field. I thought it might be useful if I cited a few benefits and drawbacks of this technique. One thing I probably didn’t emphasize enough in the video was that I had to wait for the acrylics to dry before I added the retarding gel. It was a warm day so that wasn’t a huge problem but it did seem to break my flow a bit. I had a chair to sit in and would critique the painting with my wife Debra while I waited for the paint to dry. So it was pleasant but it was a different pace from an oil plein air session.
To dry the painting quicker I placed the painting on the hood of our truck. Which worked well until it was time to leave. We loaded up our gear and drove off and like you might imagine I left the painting sitting on the hood. I was home and unpacked by the time I realized what I had done. Fortunately my painting site was only about a mile away so I drove back and found my painting lying face down in gravel at the side of the road. But since it was acrylic it was entirely dry and unharmed (if it had been an oil painting it would have been ruined).
In the interim between realizing I had lost my painting and finding it the painting had become in my imagination the best plein air painting I had ever done. Proof that our perceptions can often distort our judgement. I suppose you might call it the fish-that-got-away syndrome.
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Updated: 23rd September 2020