The magic of blue fire

I had a birthday recently, and one of my gifts was a gorgeous Labradorite crystal sphere.

As you turn it about in the light, you can see a beautiful, ethereal blue fire slipping about inside of it.

It's things like this that can trigger ideas for paintings. I may feel a desire to try and capture something like this in paint. Perhaps in the billowing folds of some kind of royal figure's floating cloak – an idea of sunlight playing across a fabulously expensive or magical fabric. Or the light of a promising, fresh new dawn flitting through a haunted forest, the sky bright and expectant against spectral black branches.

I think this could be hard to achieve with acrylic paint. With its flat, bold character, acrylic is great for strong, fun effects. Watercolour would be too soft, with its frayed edges and daydream-like quality. Ink likes to play by its own rules of fantastic intensity, contrasted with delicate, lacy, cloud-like fragility.

I think achieving an effect like this would a job for oil paint. With that delicious linseed smell, oils ooze from the tube with a sense of infinite possibilities - if you have the skills. I could see how layering up silk-thin veils of colour with paint thinner or more oil, could begin to build a sense of blue-hued mystery.

Well, I'll keep you posted. It's been a while since I've worked with oils – they may have a good laugh at me, clog up my brushes, and send back to the all-forgiving acrylics instead. We'll see!

Pearl

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