Friday, 9 November 2007

Oil painting demonstration - Stage 4

At this stage of the painting process, I worked with an alternation of brush strokes and glazes. I used only the medium to prepare the colours. I have a dipper filled with Sanodor solvent to clean the brush between two colours.

Material used

I squeezed the following colours on my glass palette:

  • Titanium white

  • Cadmium yellow

  • Transparent Yellow
  • Cadmium Red

  • Cerulean blue

  • Manganese Azure Blue

  • King’s Blue Light

  • French ultramarine

  • Carmine Alizarin

  • Cinnabar Green Deep

I used three brushes:

  • Da Vinci Nova Synthetic. No. 8. This brush has long hair with good elasticity. The edge is thin and ideal to have more refined brush strokes.

  • A rigger for fine details

  • Manet Badger Brush. This is a very soft round brush with not point. This brush is ideal to blend glazes and create subtle changes. I use it without paint to blend or soften paint marks already on the canvas.

The Artist Painting Medium from Winsor & Newton that dries slowly and creates a non yellowing film works well for glazing. The trick is to apply the medium and wait a little bit (or to mix the colour with the medium on the palette and wait few minutes). It then takes a sticky consistency and adheres very well to the canvas, making it easy to lay the colour and stretch the stroke into a thin transparent layer.

Work on the main boats

I began with the orange buoys that glow like bright lanterns catching the sunlight.

For the blue boat, a glaze of French Ultramarine and Crimson reinforced the curve of the hull. I painted the details of the registration number and the Cornish flag with a rigger. The chrome tubes at the front of the boat consitute an interesting feature.

For the inside of the boat, I wanted to achieve a balanced composition with grey tones. The volumes were rendered by contrasting warm greys and white with cooler greys (playing between yellow and blue in the grey spectrum).

Work on the water

For the foreground, the successive glazes built smooth waves and ample movement. I started by glazing the reflection in the water of the cream boat. Glazes are ideal to paint calm water. They combine transparency and smooth transition from one colour to another. The transparent layer on the under painting creates depth.

In the middle section of painting, the brush strokes were more apparent. The yellow white brush marks on the left, which marked the glittering of the sun, were rendered with creamy and generous brush strokes. I looked for a buttery consistency. The light blue was a mixture of King’s Blue Light and Titanium white.

In the background, the shimming water was made of a weave of thin strokes layered with the edge of the small synthetic flat brush. This was built over time, alternating brush strokes charged with medium in order to break down the brush strokes of the previous stage. The intent was to tone down this area to obtain a good mid-tone while keeping interest in the upper part of the painting.

All the colours of the palette have been used to render the background up
to now. Toward the end, I reduced the number of colours and used a mixture based on Cinnabar Green to bind the background together. I then blended the colours with the badger brush. I used it without any paint, rotating the hair lightly on the surface of the canvas, like a blushing brush. The soft badger hair caught some paint and deposed it on the surrounding areas. The marks of the brushwork were blended without disappearing.

At the end, I applied again the orange and red reflections that echoed the buoys on the boats.

Work on the ancillary boats

The side of the boat visible on the right edge of the canvas has been painted in neutral tones, apart from the buoy. The buoys acted as a motive and punctuate the canvas.

The sailboat on the left in the background has a dark hull. A few light spots on the top of the deck created interest. Details were merely suggested here. The masts were fused into the background water. This was a shadow area of the painting. This boat provided a nice way to balance the composition: The masts echo the poles on the two main boats. I glazed the reflection of the sail boat with Cinnabar green deep.

The painting was finished and signed.

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