A piece of me #27, the egg tempera underpainting.
A piece of me #27. the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
This panel represented a few challenges mostly due to the very dark shadow of the man’s gray/black pants leg. It’s a strong element, front-and-center, commanding attention. So I wanted to represent it accurately, but also I wanted to depict enough other dark accents surrounding it to encourage the circulation of light (or lack thereof). The ring and the shadow of my linen coat work rather well for that. But is it enough? The shadow is strong and also uniform. So I still may try to introduce some scumbled detail into those deepest leg-shadows after this level dries.
However, that is or will be complicated by another, technical complication. After I had started laying in some very dark gray pigment into the medium/glaze (in the pants leg), I found that the paint dried almost immediately (!) – too quickly to manipulate. In painter’s parlance this is called “sinking in”. This happens when the ground is too absorbent. In this case, I think the absorbency was caused by the combination of the linen fabric that I had glued onto the HDF panel as part of my substrate preparation as well as the siccative nature of the particular pigment (Payne’s Gray) that I had used in that area. “Sinking in” is remedied by a localized treatment of retouch varnish, which I applied before reworking that area yesterday. Though improved, when this area thoroughly dries I still may try to supply more balancing nuance (the scumble mentioned above). But, as it is, I am not dissatisfied with the result. I think the treatment of the linen jacket, the tile work upper left, the plaster wall lower left as well as the ringed fingers are delicious. So these are the comments of the-always-critical-chef.
BTW: sorry for the glare – that’s only in the photograph – not the image.
Full description of the whole project here.
A piece of me, #17, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
A piece of me, #17, the egg tempera underpainting over the india ink underdrawing.
This panel was pure painter’s delight. Took me about an hour to do. My challenge: how to make a field of dark green with some slight shadowed undulations interesting
So I mixed up five shades from the deepest shadows to the highest highlights and set to work. And though I did use some lead white for the tints, I was also careful to make use of the white of the gesso substrate, too. This was done by using a fan shaped dry brush to brush the pigmented paint into its neighbor. When the manipulation was vigorous enough the dry brush tended to reveal the substrate – which made the whole panel more luminous. Finding light in the shadows. And relative to the composition, I was careful to introduce whatever hard lines it offered as a counterpoint to the amorphous fields of green. This is the result.
The whole is already more three dimensional than its underpainting. I’ll take it.Full description of the whole project here.
A piece of me #52, egg tempera over collage
A piece of me, #52, the mixed technique over collage on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
One of the most interesting aspects of this particular collaged panel was my pants cuff. It projects a few millimeters from the rest of the composition (!). Really. During the oil level, I found that balancing the warm whites of my pants, socks and the plastered wall with my skin tone was all made possible by the value adjustments inherent to the composition (and the judicious use of a warm-gray pigment from the tube). BTW: I prefer my grays warm and I don’t mix them on the palette. It’s too difficult to consistently achieve an elusive neutrality (which may not exist anyway). Full description of the whole project here.
A piece of me #22, the egg tempera underpainting over pastiglia
A piece of me #22, the mixed technique over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
This panel was executed over a pre-prepared lightly sculpted pastiglia. On the pastiglia level I tried to create the effect of folds of clothing: the bends of my linen jacket and the flowing shirt of the lady standing behind me to the right. Unfortunately, due to my method of creating the pastiglia, a number of pinholes appeared in the gesso of the linen jacket. The oil was able to hide some, but otherwise it’s not an ideal situation, but also like acne, you learn to live with the scars. The light jacquard pattern of the lady’s blue blouse was a nice surprise for me as I began to work on the enlarged image. Fun to render! Full description of the whole project here.
A piece of me #37, egg tempera underpainting on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
A piece of me #37, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
Just finished this one yesterday. I was trying to create enough difference between my off-white linen pants and my oatmeal colored linen jacket. As you can see in the underpainting on the right there was little differentiation between the two. An additional challenge occurred with my knuckles upper left. I had done the underpainting (again, see right) in terra verte (green) so turning that into living flesh always presents its own challenge. All in all I was very pleased with the way the panel turned out, especially with my linen jacket. Very touchy-feely. That’s the aim. Full description of the whole project here.
I completed this mixed technique panel this morning in about an hour and one half. It forms part of the larger mixed media project described here.
A piece of me #07, the egg tempera underpainting
A piece of me #07, the mixed technique over linen on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm. or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
I think it’s one of the most beautiful ones yet. There’s a lovely range of values with a simplified yet harmonious contrast of hues (the warm yellow-orange fields tend to push the warm gray shadows towards their complement). The architectural details provide a graphical contrast of curves, lines and larger open fields. Since it is (or will be) a panel that fits into the far background of the greater composition, I tried to be careful to not make the shadowed elements too dark. (Of course, when the final painting is assembled some adjustments can be made, if necessary)
Fifth in the mixed technique series of the larger mixed media project. An abstract wall composition with a fan shaped shadow on the right side. I prepared this with pastiglia, so I sculpted it with a painting knife as I imagined a plaster wall might feel. The shadow was not sculpted to look or feel differently because after all its just a shadow.
A piece of me #42, egg tempera underpainting
A piece of me #42, the mixed technique over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
On the right the egg tempera underpainting. On the left the final after one working session in oil.