New Acrylic Painting: The Apotheosis of War

I finally finished the acrylic painting I’ve been working on, the one that I offered up as “in progress” yesterday. I really, really liked how the gold color was coming along, and despite my original idea for the piece I wanted to keep it. As I was painting today, the idea evolved into something different, and I think it came out ok in the end.

Here it is, an 18″ x 24″ acrylic painting. I named it (similar to one of my very favorite paintings by Vasily Vereshchagin that I’ve featured before) The Apotheosis of War.

I spent quite a lot of time toying with the texture on this one. I think that if I’m going to have art in a gallery it should be something different than what I’m going to do as published art. My published art is all digital, and I have no intention of changing that simply because there are so many things I can do digitally. In fact, I can come up with literally any digital texture, but really any literal texture on a painting is going to make it more difficult to scan/photograph it.

Also, I really do love doing digital art.

But, that said, I’m really having fun with acrylic painting too. The feel of the brush in my hand, the tactile response that you feel, everything that you can’t really get in a digital painting. It’s also great fun to add raised, dimensional texturing to the paintings, something that you just don’t get digitally. Here are a couple of close ups of the modeling paste effect that I used:

You can see the difference (especially in the closer photographed lower shot) of the texture of the paint versus the modeling paste. I took the modeling paste and added a blue color to it. After mixing it, I applied it to the canvas, and then started painting the full image.

After a bit of trial and error with sketching (separately, actually at the local coffee shop) to get the ideas I wanted for the gold area, I started in on that. Originally, I was going to add the skulls all through the gold area, but after the first two I decided that the open gold area would add to the overall piece, and give the art an area of calmness in the chaos.

I also decided to very lightly put in some text, more of a hint than anything. So I opened up Adobe Illustrator, picked a font, created the letters, then printed them. Once printed on a cardstock, I cut them out and used the remaining page as a stencil for the letters. With a cross of brushwork and dabbling with a cloth I added the letters for “war”.

The acrylic painting has been quite fun so far, and I’m looking forward to trying more of them. As always, I would love any opinions I can get.

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Russell Dickerson has been a lot of things over many years. Author, artist, designer, winner of awards and recognition, pursuer of the truth, leader of the earth after armageddon.

  • Looks terrific.

    Captures a sense of chaos and horror.

  • admin

    Thanks, and I definitely wanted that sense of chaos in it. I went back and forth o n. What I wanted in the gold area, buy I think it worked out.

  • These paintings evokes creepy feelings. They have strong messages.