Thursday, 22 March 2012

On the easel

I've blocked an a couple of new small oils this week.
I'm carrying on the techniques I mentioned in my last post of using a transparent oxide brown oil under-painting to work out and limit my values to make a strong design before then applying some top layers.
I have then applied the second layer in both paintings pretty thinly using my bristle brushes making sure to keep my darks pretty translucent and my brush strokes quite loose.

I've also made sure of course to keep my colour temperatures consistent, something I have learned from experience but not always readily apparent working from photographs! Now the slightly warmer weather has arrived I will get outdoor and make plenty of colour studies for my reference as photographs do tend to blow out the highlights and flatten the darks.

These paintings have only the first colour layer applied and will have to dry out for a few days before I start applying further layers, I therefore always have about 5 paintings on the go at any one time to allow for drying.
Anyway, a painting day beckons so I better get on with some more work!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


I haven't posted a blog for a while so I thought I had better do some updates before you think I am the laziest artist ever!
Aside from my weekly teaching duties in Coloured Pencil, Acrylic and Watercolour I have been playing around with various ways of starting an under-painting for my oil paintings.

The first thing I wanted to establish was a good tonal value base but not have to many values to confuse the viewers eye, basically I want to have a variation of edges to make an interesting composition and leave some areas for the viewer to fill in.
I settled on, for now anyway, a white gesso ground with a wash of cadmium red and burnt sienna sansador thinned oil over the top, with the wolf having more yellow ochre added to it, see below.

As you can see the drawing was done freehand with a slightly heavier mix of the cadmium and burnt sienna mixture.
The next stage was to start blocking in values with Transparent Brown Oxide, being very careful to keep interesting edges and not put too much detail where it it isn't needed, this is the next stage:

I've used bristle brushes and wash brushes to keep my edges interesting as well as varying the thickness of paint, either straight from the tube or diluted down with a little Sansador. This is very much based on how I would paint my loose watercolours  but adapted for the oil under-painting, see below

I'm actually quite pleased with how the Wolf has turned out and for now quite like it just as it is so probably will leave it just as a value tonal sketch. I am however working on some other under-paintings in the same style but playing around with the colour of the grounds and also working on the top layers so will let you know how I'm getting on in my next post!