Monday, June 24, 2013

Q and A

 I thought this would be a good way to answer some questions that I received by e-mail.  It made me happy to receive them because my purpose in doing a blog was that it be something useful so thank you. 

How to start a painting?  If you go back to the archives listed on the right of this page I did a post in 2009 about starting a painting.  My own way of starting has changed a little since then.  I generally tone the board with Transparent Red Medium by Rembrandt because it is a nice warm color that looks good when it peeks through your paintings. 

I still rely on the method of toning with a neutral color (UB and Burnt Sienna mixed with a lot of OMS (odorless mineral spirits).  I did my most recent peony painting that way. 

Then, using a big brush I do a very loose drawing with paint mixed with a little OMS concentrating on just value.  I use a paper towel to lift out the lights.  (There are examples of this in old blogs, especially the one of painting a portrait of the dog TUX).  The second and third layers are when I add more detail and think about hard and soft edges. 

There are so many variations of this stage.  One that I like is using transparent colors to establish the lights and dark at that first stage of painting.  (that method is described in detail I on post dated April 2013.

What surface do you use?

For daily paintworks I've been using gessobord by Ampersand for two reasons.  First, I like the smooth surface and, second, they are inexpensive if you order them on sale with the special discount and free shipping.  I watch for sales on Dick Blick, Jerry's Artarama, Cheap Joe's and ASW, all online places.   I'm always looking for ways to save a little on supplies.  Art supplies are not cheap!

My favorite surface is Belgian linen mounted on Baltic wood that I order from Raymar.  These are luxurious and pricey.  Tux was done on Belgian linen.

Do you do an underpainting?

Yes, but it is fairly loose, emphasizing value and big shapes.  I add detail as the painting progresses. 

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