Thursday, May 3, 2012

Moving On, But There's Just One More thing

My Guy Steve, An oil  study in progress,
a person in progress too--just like the rest of us.
After spending a long lunch hour watching videos on to varnish or oil-out or both,  how to paint a portrait and  skin tones made easy, I went back to the studio with nothing serious in mind. I was still celebrating signing off on  the kids.  I meandered about and then started drawing  my three sons  on canvas, for the next portrait I have in mind. Then I  picked up the oil study I had started of my son, while still working on the kids; I had left him  looking pale and a bit sickly. The how to paint a portrait video had intrigued me as did the one on mixing skin tones. I decided to apply what I had picked up on Steve.

Meanwhile the babies look pretty cool framed up with a liner,
 I don't know about the gold bead; I think without.
As I painted more color into his cheeks, it occurred to me that portraiture is not that different from architectural designing . The genre demands the same analytically studies,  procedure planning and precision drawing, but with a brush instead of a pencil.  As tense as  my first portrait made me, the genre does suit my temperament, gets me excited and has meaning for other people.

As for when to varnish, if to varnish, and this other thing I'd never heard of, oiling-out, I've decided to oil-out in  three or four days. The different ratios of pigment to medium do make for an uneven surface. There's a settling down that occurs that needs to be brought up. I had watched a third video during lunch that intrigued me the most--since I thought I was done, but turns out not really.

The process of covering the whole canvas with a very thin layer of half oil medium and half mineral spirits to saturate the colors and even out the surface seems logical. The painting can then be varnished  later--only with a clear varnish-- four months to a year to almost never if Alizarine crimson was used in abundance. Varnishing also saturates the colors and does one thing more protective thing: it deters dust. I think dust is something to deter. A Swifter, used regularly,  couldn't possibly do good things to an oil painting. Watch this and tell me what you think. Right now, I thinking I should have used colored pencils? No chemistry to worry about there.






12 comments:

  1. The painting of the children is a beautiful piece. (without gold gets my vote too)

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog.

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    1. My pleasure. Thank you for visiting. The frame and liner are fictional. I like to see what I would do though if it was left up to me.

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  2. Mein Gott! After watching the video I feel he should have drunk the varnish: Horrible Death... but... What a Wonderful FINISH!
    He seems to deal in definite maybes! I'll stick to P & I ... but might try dabbling at this 'n that.

    Two good finds today, Linda: Bill & Eugenio are totally impressive ... makes me feel like hiding my stuff though!

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    1. Yes, he does have quite a few maybes. He's unsure of himself. But there is a"settling in" with oil paints. He's got a point.--I guess oiling-out is sort of like boiling corn on the cob that has already been boiled. It plumps it up. At any rate, no body has responded to this method. I think I'll try it. Give it to the buyer and go varnish it in a couple of months. Sorry I told you not to be an idiot. I'm a little up tight on the proper finish for this medium I've been working with for four months. I don't want to screw it up now.

      Sue Pownall who left the first comment has talent with a pencil too. Take a look at her site. I'm a bit insulted though that she didn't follow me; I'm following her. We artists can be so overly sensitive sometimes.

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    2. Yeah I've been following her (mainly because I know Oman).

      Did you call me an idiot? don't worry, you'll call me a lot worse in time I'm sure :0)

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  3. Linda, lo he pasado muy bien viendo el video. Años atrás cuando pintaba óleos, para barnizar mezclaba 1/2 de barniz mate con 1/2 de barniz brillante. Extendía el barniz sobre el lienzo en pinceladas horizontales y luego verticales. El resultado era muy bueno. El video que has puesto es muy instructivo. Hasta pronto!

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    1. Thank you Sonia.I appreciate your instruction. I do recall varnishing a few oil painting years--I mean years ago. I've decided to get the painting to the client and then varnish it in the traditional method when the time comes.

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  4. Linda, whatever you are doing to Steve, his portrait study looks GREAT!!!

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    1. Thanks Kathryn. The video I watched did boil down skin tones to just three colors, which worked as a base from with I could adjust lighter or darker, rosier or cooler. I should have found it before the kids. It would have saved me a lot of back-to-oils guess work. I have noticed though that Titanium White does gray the mix. I am going to look for Flake White and see if I like that better. In oils, I can't get over how gold Cadmium Yellow Medium is--it's not that color in Acrylics. Interesting. I would have thought color names stood for the same color. Live and learn.

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  5. Just that kind of videos I need...spelled out !! and no way of not having understood :-) You are doing great with Steve's portrait, looking forward to seeing more !

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    1. I am too. I think I've found my major Jane. This first one made me nervous. Honey told me not to take the commission. He didn't think I could do it. So I took the commission. It took me a little bit of time to brush up (pun intended) on my oils, but oils was right for that reference photo. The portrait came out pretty fair--fair enough that I want to do an other. This time I'm doing my three men. This casual portrait of Steve is a warm up, a study. And I think I will try this oiling out method, give it to the client, and then varnish it in a couple of months. The more layers the better. --Look how just a few sentences from you encourages me to figure out where I'm going next. Comments are so helpful. Thanks.

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  6. The video is delightful. One cautionary note: do this kind of thing with plenty of ventilation and then store it somewhere where you aren't.

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