And now, am I now fucking up this piece? I just kept looking at it and looking at it. And I needed to keep going- to fix the light again. When this is somewhat try I wil be able to galze over it anew- and we'll see what happens then.
This is where the painting really begins. The wash- glazing. I used lamp black, raw umber, a dash of liquin, and linseed oil. I read where people suggest to glaze with thinner and oil paint out of the tube- yuck- that's fucking ill. Thinner destroys the oil in the paint. Doing it with thinner- you're basically scattering the pigment in little clumps all over the surface. Gross. Instead, doing it with linseed oil as thinner- you get a really rich beautiful glaze. It takes a little time to glaze over. I apply with a medium brush, like an inch flat brush. As the minutes go by- it dries a little bit (if you used liquin)- and then your brushstrokes will soften the glaze and do away with brushstroke giveaways. Glazing really brings the painting together. Painters like Rembrandt used to do many many glazes- in between they would paint, and glaze, and paint, and glaze. A long process, a lot of work. As I am finding out- but truly wonderful and fun to do. It's a real meditation.
I was disillusioned with step 4 of this painting. It was missing character. Again, the magic words.. fuck it- and I went for my cure all- *line*. I love line. So black it is, and I bring the painting back as a drawing. It's not quite a formal piece anymore- is it? But it's interesting.
After the first layer of oil was down- it looked boring and soft- not at all my style. So I thought- fuck it. And let myself relax some. I mixed some cadmium red with the base skin tone (which was indian red, white, and yellow ochre)- to create two shades of red, to go over the shirt. Beautiful thing about oil- the character- with two colors you can go over something like this graphite and acrylic underpaiting and it looks like you're using a million reds.
This is the first layer of paint. I tried to set up for this painting in a formal fassion. Mixing the colors carefully for a proper palette. It took many hours, it felt wonderful to do so, to smell the paint again. It has such a peculiar scent. It was hard looking at this- in contrast with the previous steps, a lot is lost. But so it must be! Onwards we go! To infinity, and beyond!
Here I went in with acrylic. And I highlight some areas. I can always go back in over the acrylic and lay more graphite. It's really beautiful how a brush wet with acrylic blends over graphite.
This is the first down of the piece. I used a graphite stick, 8B, super thick with pigment and low binder. There's no wood in this thing- just the graphite, coated in a thin film of plastic- to keep your little fingers from getting black- as if. I smooth out with a 'blending stump, this is really rolled up paper. You can see how big it is on the lower left on top of the piece. The stump becomes very dirty with use, I like it. I use it as a pencil even. It makes all the difference to use a stump for blending out areas. The pencil as is can be used to sharpen a line- accentuate a detail- a meeting of light and dark. The size of this is approximately 22 by 28 inches.