Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I found an antique frame in a second hand shop, and knew that I had to do a still life of roses. Just so happened that we had some wonderful rose bushes in the back yard, so I arranged some, with a silk backdrop, and started into it. This is a pencil drawing on gessoed wood, which was later fixed, and then painted in layers. The roses were painted in a monochrome, and then glazed with natural madder (The predecessor to alizarin). I picked up a tube of WN, and it worked very well. Very subtle color, yet highly chromatic. Apparently WN are the only folks who are able to make this particular color, so that it remains stable. It was known as a fugitive color.

The medium used throughout this painting was a mixture of concentrated damar varnish, and stand oil. I made the varnish myself, by dissolving damar into turpentine, and allowing it to reach it's saturation point. The oil is then heated and the damar varnish is combined. It is much easier to make than amber, yet has quite different effects.

This is an 18x24 oil on canvas, laid down on wood. I used amber varnish in the paint, and as a varnish layer. The paint was applied quite thick (impasto). I was thinking of the artist Sorolla, while painting this. He is one of my favorites. The image is of interest to me, as I have often stood on the edge of land, looking out at the vast expanse of sea. The wind is almost magic, the air pure.

Recently, I have been applying paint quickly, and much more thick. The brushes used for this piece were quite large, and that prevented me from getting overly detailed.

This painting is 11x14, oil on wood. The wood was treated with white shellac to prevent the oil from coming into contact with it. I then drew the image with charcoal, fixed it with clear shellac, sanded, and applied an umber layer. This created quite a dark image to start with, and really helped to judge values for establishing the lights. I used amber in the oil paint, and as a varnish. This baby was one of the most enjoyable paintings that I have ever completed.

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