Monday, April 23, 2012

Stages 2 & 3

As I mentioned, a painting this large (24" X 60") takes some extra planning in its execution. For Stage 2, I do a rough drawing of my subject(s) using a 4H pencil. Here I have the gessoed board on a drawing shelf. I then prop up the backside with an array of big fat art books. The thick drawing board gives the 1/4" gessoed painting board adequate support and helps prevent warping.

Stage 3. One of my signature painting techniques is to paint an underwash. I do this for several reasons. One, it seals in my drawing so the pencil outlines do not smudge. Two, it tones the board so I am not fighting a white surface. Three, it gives me a value study which I can evaluate before I start with my full-strength oil paints. Lastly, a tonal underwash can lend in making the painting read more alive and more vibrant when small areas underneath shine through. For my wash I use a mixture of raw sienna and burnt sienna (heavy on the raw sienna). With a turpentine-wet brush I dip it in the paint and do a light wash over the entire board. Then I go back and use more concentrated color for my value study.

With a board this long, I needed support on the far left edge. My extra painting chair with one ABS round and 2 magazines did the trick.

Note the cat in the left hand corner. Her name is Pebbles and though she hasn't proven to be an indispensable assistant, she has just started coming to the studio.... to help.

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