Oil Painting – More Progress

Halfway There…

The busy season at my workplace has descended upon me in full force, so I was extremely happy to have a few hours to myself yesterday to do some artwork. Overtime pay is great, but I was so pleased to be able to dust off the easel and put it to some good use!

With the advent of the Fall season comes the beginning of a new season for the local art leagues as well, most of which run from September through May, so I thought it best to pick up my brushes and make some more progress on my oil painting that I started earlier this summer (see the post “Painting Break”). Besides, it’s not much fun if you don’t have any work to show!

My goal for this session was to complete the grisaille underpainting. I had originally begun the painting by toning the canvas with raw umber, intending to use the tone as a middle-value that would show through in some areas of the finished painting. It seems, however, that I have this knack for constantly finding new approaches while obsessively reading about painting and drawing. I have been spending some time reading The New Munsell Student Color Set, 2nd Ed., which has completely revolutionized the way I approach color theory in my paintings. Basically, I have begun to think first in terms of a) value before thinking of b) hue or c) chroma (intensity). This led me to change directions and try a method I’ve seen used in some of my reading – beginning with a true grisaille of black & white paint only, then glazing layers of color over it.

the finished grisaille

the finished grisaille

As I worked on my painting this weekend, I was again careful to be very patient and not accept something as being finished until it was absolutely right – something that has been a problem for me in the past (even now as I type – I see small areas that need correcting before I proceed). Thankfully, the Bargue course has been paying huge dividends in my artwork by causing me to slow down, examine, and re-examine each piece of the work, then compare it to the whole – always keeping the unity of the whole piece at the forefront of my mind. Again, I can’t recommend the Bargue Drawing Course enough! If you desire to be a skilled artist, please consider investing your time in the course and doing it properly. It is well worth it, especially as we’re seeing a renaissance in Realism. Now is the time!

Well, my grisaille is now finished and I’m going to be furiously reading everything I can find about oil glazes while the underpainting dries. Until next time…

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