In the end, I have to admit, I am unsatisfied with the outcome of my piece. I think in certain areas I achieved the effect that I was looking for - with kind of murky edges and infinite variations in color - but unfortunately, there were too many areas where I wasn't able to get that effect. I think the materials were certainly a part - using acrylic on a prepared canvas is very different than using acrylic stains on raw canvas, and I do think that had a pretty large effect on the final product.
I'm also not sure I'm completely happy with the composition. Honestly, it feels to similar to a Rothko, and I think I should have chosen a more experimental composition - maybe even turning the canvas sideways.
In all, I wouldn't say that I'm unhappy with the outcome, However, I would definitely say that there are some areas that could really use some fixing.
Finally, I am considering going over the entire painting with a matte medium. Right now, theres a lot of glare coming off the painting, especially with the fluorescent lighting, which makes it very difficult to see the variations in color. I think I'll go over the entire painting with a layer of matte medium next class, and it should make the piece more interesting, and the important parts too visible.
My work on the practice paintings certainly inspired my work on the final painting. While the technique I experimented in my second painting was much closer to that which I used in the final, I think there are some important comparisons to be made with my first practice as well. The translucent brown and swirled glaze that I laid over most of the surface really inspired me to pay attention to color. I knew before the first painting that I was interested in color, but that experience made me realize the ability to control and manipulate color that was possible with acrylic paints.
The second practice painting was largely an experimentation with materials. I was really trying to replicate the layered washes and glazes that color-field AbEx artists used, and in order to do that, I reversed the canvas. Unfortunately, the canvas didn't work too well, and the acrylic layers weren't dark or saturated enough to get the effect I was looking for. However, it did give me good practice with the color palette and composition that I was looking for.