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 #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 #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.
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.
A Piece of Me #57, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
A Piece of Me #57, egg tempera underpainting on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.
Here is the second of the mixed technique series (see the category description on the right for a full explanation of the technique). Like #47 before it, this one is another abstract design principally of the tile flooring in front of the great mosque at Casablanca. You can read about the concept behind the whole project here.
To the right you can view the egg tempera underpainting before its layer of oil. To the left the completed panel afterwards. Once again, the increase in saturation and depth seems to happen almost automatically – due to the difference in medium. Additionally, what’s interesting to me, is that I had completed the underpainting a few months back, imagining it to be a final piece (and not just the groundwork for further manipulations in paint). That is, I thought I was creating a finished panel for the egg tempera series – and at the time I was pretty happy with the result. I think the composition lends itself to that satisfaction, but still after I discovered the error, I was curious about how much the oil level could or would enhance the piece. I think it does. What do you think?