Celina Hinojosa paintings are executed in acrylic on canvas. She works in the drybrush technique and has developed an exacting and technical process of multi-layering fine veneers of paint in a pouncing, stippling and scumbling application as opposed to the more traditional wet-brush.
To a certain degree Hinojosa's technique reflects certain aspects of chiaroscuro which fundamentally contrasts contemporary academic painting processes. As opposed to building color upon a white canvas and modeling ones colors toward the darkest tones, the artist opts for darkened sections of canvas modeling her colors in reverse order toward the lightest. This is executed one section at a time. Much like a Giornata (an Italian word meaning "a day's work" in Buon Fresco mural painting). Hinojosa's darkened sections periodically may be developed in one day, but more often than not - over the course of several days or weeks. Important to mention, she has also adopted the use of a 'Cartoon' (a full-scale drawing of the intended artwork) also as in Buon Fresco and a very important step in the creation, establishing (and reestablishing) of lines, images and details. It is a blueprint or a key-drawing of sorts, used over and over again until the composition reaches completion. Traditionally working with great discipline in an uninterrupted environment, Hinojosa handles the often large cartoon(s) with every protective action necessary - as without this vital tool her work would be compromised.
It is an interesting yet time consuming cross-utilization of chiaroscuro fundamentals - the use of a dark canvas; modeling her colors to create light and dark yet without the traditional and dramatic contrasts created by chiaroscuro's singularly unique light source. As in Buon Fresco, individual areas are applied in sections like 'giornatas', in a very methodical and necessary order due to the overlapping of her drybrush technique's frayed edges, and in an intentional effort to preserve this additional visual element of interest. Images come forth in strict order - from the surface's background, through its mid-ground and finally swell to the surface with a desirable richness of vibrant details. This architectural-like layering of hundreds of smooth gradations of color, yields an applaudable final product. As she works through her methodical executions (which have reached such smooth refinement over the years), she remains true to the essence of the challenging technique which she immersed and committed herself to years ago. As the Artist paints and builds, she continuously maintains the soft frayed edges on the outermost perimeters of each design element in her compositions (a signature of her work). Usually undetectable from a distance, these frayed strokes are a visual treat upon close observation. This process of various efforts lends itself to a rich depth of color and smooth modeling of her figures.
In the end Hinojosa's tones, values and a wonderful sense of volume created by her stylistic approach, have unmistakable dramatic and alluring effects. These, coupled with her straight forward narrative concepts which concern life as it once was and still often found in pockets along the U.S Mexico Border (La Frontera), give way for contemplative examination of precious traditions. Through the subtleties of her application, she nostalgically portrays her subjects with a true sense of 'love of culture'...often with a focus on a central figure, conceptually leaning toward the lighter and gentler side of her world.