Turpentine diaries 5/19/18

The morning session with Agamemnon and Orestes was slow and easy.  With a large painting like this (44″ x 60″), I use hog bristle brushes for most of the work.  Today I used 5s and 6s.  You can see some of them on the easel table.  I always dip my brushes in oil when I…

Review: Eyewitness Views

The Cleveland Museums of Art’s Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe is the best show I’ve seen at the museum since I started my near-weekly visits six years ago.  As good as the show is, however, the theme–artists as eyewitnesses to history–is a stretch.  The paintings are souvenirs of public events in (equally important)…

Turpentine diaries 5/6/18

This photo shows Crossing after my 4th session. Nothing is close to being finished except the blue of the sky, ultramarine blue + cobalt blue + flake white. The broad range of scale among the figures is fun to paint. As an exercise, try changing-up the scale in your paintings.   

Turpentine diaries 4/29/18

I thought it would be fun to compare Agamemnon and Orestes after the second day to the first day–bottom photo.  After the second day, the underpainting is finished.  The underpainting is about getting paint on the canvas and not worrying overmuch about details.  At 44″ x 60,” the painting’s large size (for me) dictates the…

Turpentine diaries 4/28/18

This photo shows my first painting session with Agamemnon and Orestes.  I know, I know, a bit high falutin but I am reading Aeschylus’s Eumenides.  Agamemnon and Orestes is 44″ x 60.” I mentioned that I prefer white grounds these days, but I am always preparing canvases, which means I have some prepared months ago,…

Preparing a canvas surface for oil painting

This is a companion to my canvas stretching post. After you stretch a perfectly taut and square canvas, you’re ready to prepare the surface. Our goal is threefold: protect the canvas protect the paint create a perfect surface  Why do we have to protect the canvas?  Oil is acidic, so if you paint directly on…

Turpentine diaries 4/22/18

I hoped to finish the underpainting on Crossing but, as you can see in the accompanying photo, I ran out of gas.  The initial stage for a painting of this size, 40″ x 50″, is about getting paint on the canvas. By the time I start painting, the design is complete.  But change is natural. …