Monday, August 30, 2010

First day, covering the canvas

I thought I would follow up to the brown paper drawing post for my new still life.
I will explain some of the process, in going from the brown paper to the painting:
First, I don't think I mentioned this, but I only spend about a day on the brown paper drawing. It is not to be a refined piece of work; it is just to get the basic proportions, values and arrangement in the square.
As I said, I do the life size brown paper drawing a bit bigger, and then crop it with strips of paper till I like the way it fits in the square. Sometimes you have to round this off a bit to an even number, or move the strips so it is a size that can actually be stretched. There is no 20 3/8" stretcher bar. The final size I came up with was 20" x 26". I then stretched a canvas to that size. I used a fine weave preprimed Belgium linen.
Then I did a rough tracing of the drawing, rubbed the back of the tracing paper with soft charcoal, laid that on the canvas and redrew the sketch. The drawing was lightly transferred to the canvas as if I had used carbon paper. I dusted off any excess charcoal and then did a light "inking" of the drawing. I put the canvas on the easel next to the still life setup and made sure to make any corrections of the major shapes and sizes. I did this with a thinned burnt sienna. All of this is done in a few hours.
After that dries, I just start painting with a full palette, laying in broad masses of value and color till I get the canvas covered. This is my favorite time in the painting process. Going from the white of the canvas to the big impression in a few hours is great fun.
I am trying to get accurate color notes right off the bat. I want the overall impression on that first laying. After about 6 hours I had a pretty good lay-in. I will let this dry completely and then go in and work on the furthest thing wrong. Honestly, I probably left the edges too sharp and did a bit too much drawing on this lay in. If I have painted a bit looser and left the edges fuzzed out for easier correction later- since there will definitely be lots of corrections.
Tomorrow I will re-wet the areas that need work and paint it over. This process continues until the painting is done. I am hoping to finish this painting in about 2 weeks.
First day lay-in. Using a bit of turpentine to help cover the canvas.

Also, I thought I would post a new little P&G portrait I did. It is pretty small, and I did it to fit a cool old frame that I just repaired for this purpose. It had some applied designs on the flat part of the frame that I sanded off so I could add the old Ivory soap labels. In addition to adding to the theme the blue color is a good compliment to the orange-ish Mr. Clean. I have done a few similar painting before. Something about this evil looking fellow that I enjoy painting. It is pretty odd that they made little dolls of Mr. Clean. I even have a few different varieties, each one as creepy as the next. I suppose it is his rampant OCD that has made him so psychologically disturbed.

P&G Portrait, 3 1/2"x 2 1/2", oil on linen, 2010.


Anonymous said...

Richard, Why do you have "inking" in quotes? You're not really using ink? Just wondering, Curious George

Richard J. Luschek II said...

No, I use burnt sienna oil paint thinned with some distilled english turpentine so I can go over the charcoal lines. Using a pretty big brush to just lightly sketch in the big shapes.
Best to use oil paint with oil. I would be afraid of what ink might do. Inking is just a term used for strengthening the lines with paint.

And yes, I left english uncapitalized on purpose. I know that was 234 years ago, but I am still a bit angry.