"Betty Davis Eyes" 2016 Acrylic painting on canvas 48 x 36 inches

Betty Davis Eyes

"Betty Davis Eyes" is an original, signed acrylic painting on canvas by Citrus County Florida artist Michael Arnold.

This acrylic 4-foot-by-3-foot painting is a closeup view of Bette Davis' iconic eyes. I stretched pre-gessoed canvas over homemade stretcher bars and added two additional coats of gesso tinted with burnt sienna.

Most of the painting is done in three colors - burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and yellow oxide. There is a touch of cobalt blue used to darken the shadows and mix with red for the rich deep purple used for the lips.

I mostly used large brushes, 1-2 inches, and used a 3/4 inch angle shader for the detail work. This is second in a series of Hollywood icons.

This artwork was created using acrylic paint on a high quality wrapped canvas. Acrylic paint works very well on stretched canvas. When purchasing artwork many people aren't sure what the difference is between acrylic and oil paintings. The main difference between acrylics and oil paints is the inherent drying time. Oils allow for more time to blend colors and apply even glazes over underpaintings. This slow drying aspect of oil can be seen as an advantage for certain techniques, but in other regards it impedes the artist trying to work quickly. The fast evaporation of water from the acrylic paint film can be slowed with the use of acrylic retarders. Retarders are generally glycol or glycerin-based additives.

Oil paints tend to require the addition of a toxic solvent, such as mineral spirits or turpentine to thin the paints and clean up tools, though relatively recently water soluble oil paints have been developed for artist use. Secondly, oil paint films become increasing yellow and brittle, and will lose their flexibility in a few decades. Acrylics can be used on many surfaces without a medium- layer. They allow sharp brush-strokes but also a more delicate shading, although it is more difficult to create a smooth change between different shades. They are usually very bright. Although the permanency of acrylics is sometimes debated by conservators, they appear more stable than oil paints.  

Purchase Price $550


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Michael Arnold
Florida painter who created "Life One"