Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The hog fan brush


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.



"Respect the beach" - oil painting by Benoit Philippe

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)


I added just enough Sanodor solvent to apply this layer comfortably without loosing the paste consistency. I established the shadow areas and the lighter ones, but I was not happy with the colours which were too striking and blue.



The hog fan brush

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.






The hog fan left some distinctive marks in some areas (some parallel lines created by the each spread-out bristle). These marks become invisible if you step away from the canvas and they contribute to the battered look of the paint.

2 comments:

Lokelani Forrest said...

Thanks so much for your progressive steps on this piece. Very helpful. Also, really do like this painting.

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