In order to lure you to this blog I will try to describe how I paint by taking pictures of a painting in internediate stages of the painting process.
In the image on the left you can see a charcoal drawing and some paint – clearly this is the very beginning of the painting.
I spent four straight hours on the drawing, trying to capture the sensitivity and feminity of the eyes, something I didn’t succeed in. Either the effect will show up during the painting process, or else it’s something I’ll still have to learn. Note I only use contours for the drawing and that the drawing is by no means an exact portrait. It’s my intention to render the psychological qualities of the model, rather than the physical…AND…in order to obtain the desired expressive and communicative effects, one has to deviate from reality, which leads to distortions that are artistically motivated. In other words: if you’d superimpose the drawing onto the original, you’d that the contours don’t coincide.
Because the model had her head tilted backwards, the head looks compressed vertically, an effect I exaggerated.
When I was nearing the end of the drawing I realized that the original image had a provocative quality and then when I added the ear-decoration it showed up in the drawing. Maybe a woman understands the connection, I don’t.
You can see I have done some painting: I started with the yellow below the eye, which was a mixture of oil paint with acrylic texture gel. Yes, they mix! You get a putty-like substance when you mix the two 1 to 1. If you add more oil paint, then the substance will become hard to process (I’m using a palette knife to apply the mixture). This stuff is quick to dry, so work fast or prepare little.
Why not just add acrylic paint to the gel? Because the result will look thin, compared to oil paint, especially if you use a large sized surface. On large surfaces you need the “body” and quality of oil paint. I’m using the texture gel because pure, undiluted oil paint produces a very different, less attractive effect and because the acrylic medium is quick drying, so that the expressive, sharp edges produces by the knife will be retainted.
I think I first started to mix oils with acrylics in Polish Girl (http://paintings.name/image-files/polish-girl.php).
When it dries the mixture is not as strong as pure oils or acrylics, but unless the painting has to be able to pass an MIT stress test, there’s no problem.
Furthermore, I did some stuff with “oil bar”, which is a trade name for “oil stick”, the general word for it. An oil stick is a piece of solid oil paint that liquifies when pressure is applied to the tip. This means you can use the stick as you would use pastels, with the difference that the stick produces rather high quality oil paint and can be well used on large sized surfaces. For me the oil stick is an indispensible expressive tool, because it allows me to draw freely with oil paint, leading to gestural effects you can’t achieve with a brush or knife. I use all three (brush, knife, stick) because each has it’s own rhythm, so a painting won’t easily become monotonous.
The yellow line on the left is oil bar and so is the blue line, bottom-right and I contoured the hair in the top-left with oil bar. The rest is oil paint applied with a brush. These are all pure colors (straight from the tube), except the knife-applied area under the eye, which is cadmium yellow blended with a touch of yellow ocre.
I hope I will “see” you again when I post an updated version of the painting. Until then….