Thursday, March 6, 2014

Comeback 8, From Concept to Painting

Painting over scraped back paintings made me so impatient yesterday that I decided to go for a complete process (small) painting.  So I put together my super lightweight painting gear.  The painting was to be a simulated plein air out my studio window.  I can't take the cold yet even though I want to get to the interesting patterns.

My Subject, Sketchbook Ready

The Light Weight Gear

In my condition I need a lightweight arrangement.  So here it is as it has evolved over the past two weeks.  Light weight TravelMate Pochade Box (from GoodOmen - less than 2 pounds), 8x10 panels with coloured ground (Ultramarine Blue plus Red Oxide - one warm grey, one cool grey), 5 tubes paint (Titanium White by Michael Harding, Permanent Alizarin by Gamblin, Permanent Orange by KAMA, Cad Yellow Light by Rembrandt, Ultramarine Blue by Blue Ridge).  The Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Orange are near complements, so good greys easy to get.  Brushes and Palette Knife, Turps cups, Mineral Spirits, Sketch Book and Pencil, Paper Towels.  This is what I would travel with.  Paint off my lap.  On a local plein air day I would also carry a box of paints, brush cleaner pot, tripod, and a variety of panels.

So first a thumbnail.  Not required on my previous paint overs.  Almost forgot about it.  I do my composition work, value study, and colour notation on this.  Note the eye line.

Thumbnail Sketch

Then to choose a panel.

With Value Scale

I thought I would use the warm semi neutral panel.  You can see that it is quite dark compared to the white.  Using this value scale and squinting I can tell that the panel is about value 5.  During painting the mid value already on the panel will act as the mid tones as I establish the darks, then the lights.  This will save me time.  I will only spend a maximum of an hour and a half from setup to clean up.  By then the light will change too much.

Darks First

Even at this stage the coloured ground is acting as the mid tones.  Oh!  And I had to establish the eye line in order to get the perspective.  Here the eye line is between the peaks of the two roof lines.  The bottom roof will display some perspective lines and colour masses.

First Pass Colours

At this stage I began sweating profusely.  In my current condition the energy required by the brain was very evident.  Had to sit it out for a short break.  I can see drawing errors.  Didn't have to concern myself with that when overpainting scraped back paintings.  My hand sure is not steady these days.  Practice, practice.

Time Up

Leave it now.  Time to clean up.  Total time an hour twenty minutes.  Gotta have a nap.   I could go back into this and make modifications.  Better still another study with the new light condition.  Camera does a poor job of the colours.  Oh well.

Compare this shot to the one above.

Better but no cigar.  Koop from Studio 1, 10 to 11:30 am


  1. Glad to see you are back at it George [aka 'other defiant spirit]! I find it very useful to follow your process - photos and commentary. For me this is very inspiring and helps me see a way to the light at the end of the tunnel.

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