Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Wine Thief"

Here is my new painting, showing a scene from a trip my wife and I took to California wine country. Here, someone is taking a barrel sample from a barrel deep in a wine cave. The painting is in oil on a 24 x 36 inch canvas.
Here are the notes I've taken as I've painted it:

For session one, I started on the under-painting. I began laying in the dark areas with a mixture of transparent oxide brown and ultramarine blue. My goal is to lay in the under-painting with transparent pigments, and then move in with opaques.

For session two, I worked on two things, the barrels and the figure. For the barrels, I used a mixture of transparent gold ochre, raw sienna, and transparent oxide brown. I mixed that with my mixture of ultramarine blue and transparent oxide brown for the shadow areas. For the figure, I used terra rosa and transparent oxide brown for the flesh areas, mixed with my mixture of transparent oxide brown and ultramarine blue for the areas in shadow. I really struggled with the face. In fact, all the flesh tones will have to be revisited when I move in with opaques.

With session three, I started on the barrels going off into the distance. It was a real struggle to not put in too much fine detail. In addition, I started on the concrete floor. Again, all the pigments used were transparent.

Sessions four and five: barrels, barrels, and more barrels.

Session six and seven: I did not take a picture after session six. Basically, I finished the frame of the barrel structure. Session seven, I finished the under-painting and went in with targeted cool opaques. Mostly, that was a mixture titanium white and ultramarine blue. I'm finding that I use less and less opaques and spend more time on the under-painting with transparents.

I think it might be finished. I'm going to sit on it a week and see.

Here are links to images showing each painting session:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Session 5
Session 6 and 7

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Here is the under-drawing for my new painting. It is on a 24 x 36 inch canvas.

Friday, August 10, 2012


This is my latest painting. It is a landscape depicting a vineyard. It is in oil, on a 24 x 18 inch canvas.

Here are the notes I've taken while painting it:

For session one, I laid in the actual vines of the vineyard. I tried to indicate rows, and showed the perspective as they went into the distance up the hill. I used sap green, naples yellow, transparent oxide brown, permanent green medium, titanium white, and a touch of cadmium yellow light. Oh, I also used van dyke brown for the dark areas.

For session two, I added some darks: the trees in the distance, and plants in the foreground. In both cases, I used a mix of van dyke brown and terra verte. I'm hoping that when I add the yellows for the sky that the highlights on the distant trees do not look out of place.

Session three, I did two things: the sky and some of the foreground. For the sky, I wanted a warm yellow gradient from top to bottom. There, I used titanium white mostly mixed with slight traces of Naples yellow, cadmium yellow light, cadmium red medium, and ultramarine blue. I added patches of each one, and then blended with a dry brush.

For the foreground -- the red flowers -- I used a combination of van dyke brown and cadmium red medium. There I used both a brush and a palette knife to add thick chunky paint.

During Session 4, I really struggled with bush in the foreground. I added paint, scraped it off, added paint, scraped it off, and so on. I finally got it to a point that I'm resigned to. One thing that did go well, however, is closing up some of the big gaps on the trees in the background.

Below are the photos I've taken showing progress over time:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4