Painting Processes

A quick overview of my oil painting process.Beginning with prepping the surface to a completed painting.

evening run for this Conemarra pony

evening run for this Conemarra pony

Beginning

There are many steps that go into creating a painting other than simply dipping your paintbrush into the paint and applying to the surface.

I begin by building the substrate (Primary or underlying material on which other materials are applied.) Beginning with ⅛ inch MDF board and 1×2 pine, glue and a nail gun I build a cradled panel. To this I apply an archival safe texture, a 4 step process similar to Venitian plaster. This is then sanded down until I am pleased with the surface, not to textured, not too smooth.

gessoing cradled panel

gessoing cradled panel

applying gesso to cradled 36x 36 panel

applying gesso to cradled 36 x 36 panel

Composition and Underpainting

The next step is choosing the subject and the composition. In this a case a Conemarra Pony in the setting sun. I am drawn to images with a quality of light you can almost feel. I often use photoshop to recompose the image to fit my chosen canvas size. then I print out the image as a guide.

For most paintings I begin by doing an oil rub-out method. A mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine blue with a couple drops of oil of cloves, to slow the drying time is applied somewhat evenly and thinly over the entire surface. Then using rags and clean brushes the lighter values are pulled away and the darker values are painting in to create the illusion of 3-D on a two dimensional surface.

A mixture of Burnt umber, Ultramarine Blue Deep and 2-3 drops of oil of cloves.

A mixture of Burnt umber, Ultramarine Blue Deep and 2-3 drops of oil of cloves.

general coverage of underpainting-rub our pigment

general coverage of underpainting-rub our pigment

IMG_4628

Time to Move on to Color

Satisfied with the rub out I begin mixing the colors. I like to create piles of paint rather than mixing stroke by stroke. This way I have enough paint to make a cohesive underpainting and then make slight variations in value and temperature with each stroke.

key color chart

key color chart

Though I usually begin with a finished product in mind, sometimes the end result is not quite what I had planned, but I feel like as I get to know the subject through the careful observation of painting, their character begins to emerge. This leaves me as the only the vehicle to deliver the message.

evening run for this Conemarra pony

evening run for this Conemarra pony

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