Monday, April 2, 2012

The Ugly Side of Painting

It has been one hell of a week for me. What was supposed to be a week off of work to just paint all day in my studio turned into a week of frantically studying calculus in order to keep my teaching job for next year. Very little painting was done, unfortunately, and my deadlines are looming. I did get a break from math on Sunday, when I went to my painting class.

Last week I started my drawing for my still-life. This week I completed the drawing, transferred it on my panel, and worked on my open grisaille stage. For those of you who don't remember what that stage entails, the first layer of the painting is done using burnt umber and turpentine only. No white paint is used. The white of the paper is all you have for your lights. It's kind of like water color in that sense, but uglier. Since you can only use one color to show gradations and you don't want to the paint to drip, you have to really control the amount of turpentine and paint used. Translation: it's a pain in the ass.  This makes for a very "sticky" paint that leaves the image looking patchy and streaky. Like I said, it's not pretty. This is my least favorite stage in the painting process.
Next week I get to use white, ultramarine blue, and burnt umber to do a closed grisaille painting, which is basically a black and white version on top of what I have now.
The final drawing. The base of the little copper pitcher still looks
off-balance. I'll fix that in the painting stage.

The start of the open grisaille stage. I like to call this the ugly stage. It is really
 hard to paint using only one color and turpenoid only. The paint gets patchy and "sticky"
 really easily. If you add to much turp, it's too runny. I really dislike this stage.

My open grisaille stage is finished! The next step is closed grisaille
where I will basically do a black and white painting. Adding white will
make painting this SO much easier.

Just in case you forgot what the original still-life looks like.

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