Monday, August 24, 2009

Oil Painting Online Demonstration August 2009

Well here in Ireland the weather has been quite showery over the last few weeks and with no sign of stopping I think that the types of paintings that might appeal to people could be those that show warm weather and places we would really like to experience. That's why I thought this scene would be an appealing candidate. I am working in oils on a 16" x 20" canvas. Here I have posted the progress shots of my undercoating stage, completed more or less in the above shot.
To transfer my drawing onto the canvas, I draw it out on parchment paper and I put a sheet of paper covered in charcoal under this face down onto the canvas. I then go over each line with a pen that no longer works. I put a book under the canvas to prevent damage from leaning too hard on it. The result is an outline drawing on the canvas in charcoal. Charcoal is ideal as pencil on canvas is hard to cover with some colours in oils, as I discovered to my cost. I sometimes draw over the charcoal as can be seen above with a light colour marker. This covers well with the oils. I might dispense with this in the future but for now I think it is a useful method.

As I don't have a lot of difficult drawing in this painting I only outlined part of it in marker. The rest I will draw in paint. To save time, I use a variety of brushes and I am finding that I can work faster if I begin to judge how much paint I need better, as I don't have to keep stopping to put out more! Also as this was the undercoating stage I worked as quickly as I could, not paying too much attention to detail at this stage.

Undercoating Stage
The main thing to establish in the underpainting is the feeling of light that you want to convey in the image. Is it warm or cold, bright or dark? Here, I am trying to have a reasonably warm day, but it is tricky as I don't have a lot of sky in the picture. So I will have to rely on getting the right tones in the rest of the picture.
I fill in all the areas with blocks of colour that I think are as close to the final colours needed. This allows me to see more easily if they will need to be varied at a later stage, but really I want to try to get things right first time. That's a good motto to have when painting -- get it right first time. Mostly a painting is an evolution of tweaking and changing the colours slightly but it pays to underpaint as close as possible as you can to what's needed. I used vermillion green, paynes grey and titanium white here for the background, along with cerulean blue with the white for the water, and ultramarine blue mixed with cadmium yellow for other parts of the background. I have used yellow ochre and naples yellow in the rushes and other places. I have used cadmium red and white and raw umber also.

If I see that the colour is too dark or changing the feeling of the light then I need to stop and wipe it clean and try a variation or alternative. I kind of know what colour mixes I need now even before I use them. This comes from practice and although I often make mistakes, they are not disasters but just slow me up. Fortunately I have learnt to see most of these before I progress too far. If you need help with mixing colours, see my posts on learning to paint on the right of this blog, and also about aerial perspective etc. They should help you.

As I said earlier, there is little sky in this image, so that means the water will be the best in helping to show the bright sunlight. I choose cerulean blue for the water and lightened it with white. Anyway that's it for this online painting demonstration. I will be progressing on to the next painting layer soon, so will post more progress shots of that. Be sure and check back if you are interested in seeing the finished painting, most lightly at the end of this week.

Meanwhile I hope the weather improves here! We have the end of hurricane Bill here tomorrow!!

1 comment:

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