St John the Baptist church, Cirencester – oil on canvas panel (6” x 8”) by Benoit Philippe
Monday, 24 May 2010
Friday, 21 May 2010
Au Café-concert : La Chanson du chien (55 × 45 cm) – Source: Wikimedia
The painter La Touche asked the art dealer if he could find out where Degas was buying his pastels, from which he could get such extraordinary colours.
Here is the dialogue Vollard reported:
“When I saw Degas again, he had in hand some pastels that he was lining-up on a board in front of his window.
- I make the colours fade as much as possible, he said, by placing them in the sun.
- But, if so, with what do you manage such striking colours?
- With some dead colours, sir!”
This quote still puzzles me and, seeing Degas’ pastel, I share Vollard’s amazement.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
When I paint in oil, I rely on a limited number of hog and synthetic brushes. Once in a while, I am in a situation where a special tool is required.
For the painting “Respect the beach”, I wanted to achieve the following effects with the background:
- Convey the weathered look of the paint on the car bodywork.
- Obtain a greyish colour so that the yellow numbers on the plate and the chrome would shine by contrast.
- Achieve a smooth rendering, without any obvious brush marks, to let the number plate and the chromed handle become the centre of attention.
I would normally let the initial layer of paint to dry and then apply successive glazes on top until I obtain the level of smoothness required. In this case, I painted this work alla prima (in one go), so I had to find another way.
I proceeded in two stages. First, I blocked-in the background by mixing some greys with three different blue colours as the main ingredient:
- Manganese blue (from Bloockx)
- Cerulean Blue (Winsor & Newton)
- French Ultramarine (Winsor & Newton)
For the finishing stage, I applied a glaze of Ivory black with a hog fan. Ivory black is a semi-transparent colour and therefore suitable for glazing. I poured a puddle of painting medium on my palette and added some Ivory black to it. There was also some grey I had mixed earlier that get into the mix.
I applied the mixture with the hog fan. The bristles on the fan are spread out and did not remove the fresh underpainting. The glaze formed a grey film that tuned down the initial blue colour. At the same time, it created a smooth transition between the different shades and removed brush marks.
Monday, 17 May 2010
Friday, 7 May 2010
The drum bridge (San Francisco tea garden) - Watercolour (31 cm x 39 cm) by Benoit Philippe
The Drum Bridge (“Taiko Bashi” in Japanese), was part of the Japanese Village of 1894. It is now one of the features of the tea garden located in the park near the Golden Bridge.