Old Masters Academy

Posts Tagged "Oil"

Whistler’s Oil Painting Technique

Whistler’s Oil Painting Technique

Whistler’s Oil Painting Technique Whistler’s approach to portraiture in his late maturity was described by one of his sitters, Arthur J. Eddy, who posed for the artist in 1894: “He worked with great rapidity and long hours, but he used his colours thin and covered the canvas with innumerable coats of paint. The colours increased in depth and intensity as the work progressed. At first the entire figure was painted in greyish-brown tones, with very little flesh colour, the whole blending perfectly with the greyish-brown of the prepared canvas; then the entire background would be intensified a little; then the figure made a little stronger; then the background, and so on from day to day and week to week, and…

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The Rembrandt Palette

The Rembrandt Palette

The Rembrandt Palette Rembrandt created his portraits with a small palette of colours dominated by dark earth tones and golden highlights. Remember the number of pigments available to the 17th century artist were miniscule when compared to those available to the modern artist. Rembrandt was unusual in that he used around hundred, but less than 20 pigments have been detected in Vermeer’s oeuvre. Portraits by Rembrandt have a special quality- the brilliant use of light to illumine faces, jewels and rich fabrics; the effective use of a limited palette, and the rich, dark, transparent backgrounds all set off the subjects of his portraiture in a way never seen before and often imitated afterwards. It has been said that a painter has…

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Caravaggio’s oil painting technique

Caravaggio’s oil painting technique

Caravaggio’s painting technique: Using all of the technical and art historical information we now have on the paintings that can be firmly attributed to Caravaggio we can summarize his technical practices as follows: 1) Preference for using a linen canvas support mounted on a wooden strainer. 2) Preference for dark red-brown ground, often left visible, and used as mid-tones. 3) Use of dramatic, single-source lighting. 4) Use of incisions done free-hand in the still moist ground to establish the composition and fix the pose of his models. 5) Did not use preliminary sketches but began by loosely drawing the outline of forms in dark paint and locating major highlights in lead white (abozzo). 6) Used limited palette, primarily earth colors,…

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Glazing Painting Techniques

Glazing Painting Techniques

Glazing Painting Techniques So, here I’ll give you way too much information on glazing (or indirect painting). But you can pick out what you need and forget the rest. It’ll be right here if you ever change your mind. Here’s the first rule (yes, in art rules are for breaking, but you have to understand the rule before you can break it most effectively) Fat Over Lean All mediums are fat, all opaque pigments without medium are lean. You want to paint opaquely first, with little or no medium. In subsequent layers you can move to using more medium because the oil will soak through to the first layer. Also, you don’t want the under layer to dry slower than…

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Gabriel Rossetti. The artist and his Sitter

Gabriel Rossetti. The artist and his Sitter

Rossetti did not have the natural technical talent that is seen in the small detail and brilliant color of a typical Pre-Raphaelite painting, and his early oil paintings, the Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1849) and the Ecce Ancilla Domini (1850), were produced only at the expense of great technical effort. In the less demanding technique of watercolor, however, Rossetti clearly revealed his imaginative power. The series of small watercolors of the 1850s produced such masterpieces as Dante’s Dream (1856) and the Wedding of St. George and the Princess Sabra (1857). In almost all of Rossetti’s paintings of the 1850s he used Elizabeth Siddal as his model. Discovered in a hat shop in 1850, she was adopted by the Brotherhood as their ideal of feminine beauty. In 1852 she…

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The Restoration of Adam and Eve by Dürer

The Restoration of Adam and Eve by Dürer

The Restoration of Adam and Eve by Dürer Documentation exists on the restorations undertaken on the paintings since the 18th century when they were in the Spanish royal collection. Having entered the Prado in 1827, they were restored in the mid-19th century and it is recorded that further work was undertaken on the Adam in the 20th century, when a cradle was attached to the back. The accumulation of these interventions ultimately resulted in a harsh, flat image that lacked the original enamelled effect achieved by the artist. Thick layers of dirt, oxidised varnishes and areas of repainting that had darkened over time covered the paint surfaces, concealing Dürer’s brushstrokes and original colouring. These old restorations also affected the panels…

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Palettes of Famous Artists.  The Anders Zorn Palette

Palettes of Famous Artists. The Anders Zorn Palette

Palettes of Famous Artists. Zorn Palette Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860-1920)  has long been associated with a limited palette of four colors. Rosemary Hoffman, in the book Northern Light: Nordic Art at the Turn of the Century wrote, “Zorn was noted for executing paintings using a sober color scale limited to white, ochre, vermilion, and ivory black.” Hans Henrik Brummer, writing in the 1986 catalog on Zorn, said “basically his register was limited to black, white, earth yellows and vermilion; other pigments could be used if local accents were needed.” Several art teachers, such as Jeff Watts, use the “Zorn palette” (sometimes substituting cadmium red light for vermilion) as a teaching tool because it provides students with a finite range of color choices with a…

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Oil painting lessons and techniques: PALETTES

Oil painting lessons and techniques: PALETTES

Oil painting lessons and techniques: PALETTES   Cleanliness —The cleanliness of a palette consists in its being always in such a condition that you can handle it without getting dirty; that the mixing-surface will not foul the freshly mixed paint; and that the paint around the edge is always so that you can pick up a fresh, clean brushful. If you try to clean off all your color every day and polish your palette nicely, you will not only take up more time with your palette than you do with your painting, but the fact that some left-over paint may be wasted will make you a little stingy in putting on fresh paint, which is one of the worst habits…

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Oil painting essential materials:  Selection of BRUSHES

Oil painting essential materials: Selection of BRUSHES

    Oil painting essential materials: Selection of BRUSHES   Selection.—Never buy a brush without testing its evenness, as has been advised in the care of sables. Feel carefully the end of the bristles also, and see that the “flag” is there. All brushes are kept together for packing by paste in the bristles. See that this is soaked off before you test your brush. Round or Flat.—It will make little difference whether you use round or flat brushes. The flat brush is most commonly preferred now, and most brushes are made that way. So you had better get that kind, unless you have some special reason for preferring the round ones. Handles.—Whether the handles are nicely polished, also, is of…

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