Great series of post, Jonathan. Interesting to see what goes into a portrait like this. Thanks so much. The close-ups are really informative. Best.
Thanks Candace - I'm glad you liked the close-ups. They do show a bit more of the texture and strokes that are in the actual painting, so I thought I'd include them. I recently read that Apple patented a glasses-less mult-viewer 3D holographic technology. This would also be a really cool way to virtually view a painting - but until it comes out, we'll have to settle for flat close-ups. Glad they were helpful.
What is your reasoning behind oiling it at the end with gamsol and stand oil? Why not damaar varnish? I'm new to oils, and I don't know much about the mediums and varnishes yet. I would like to be able to oil at the end of my paintings to help pop out the darks, as you say, but I also don't want anything to glossy that will make it too difficult to photograph or see in the right light. Got any suggestions? Thanks. I'm really enjoying your blog. It's nice to see a pro posting process work as well.
This is a beautiful piece, and thank you, too, for the close-ups.
Thanks Emily - As for the oil and such - remember the general principle of "Fat over Lean" meaning, the fatter (more oil content) layers should be on top of the the leaner layers. (Think of oil and vinegar salad dressing). This is the key to a stable painting. You don't want to add Damar (unless it's retouch) since that will seal the painting and the vapors underneath the varnish will be stuck. This will cause "blooming," which is a layer of milky white that will increase in opacity and size until the varnish layer is removed. Beyond that, Gamblin makes a nice little formula calculator that is helpful http://www.gamblincolors.com/mediums/interactive.guide.phpThere are more options than they give, of course, but it's quite helpful and even a bit fun to play around with.
Thank you very much! The website you mentioned could really come in handy.
Thanks for this informative series; of course I love the way you rendered the young ladies, but I am fascinated by your backgrounds. So loose and painterly with abstract brushwork, yet they create the necessary scene. You can especially see this with those closeups- sometime can you write a little blog with tips on photographing artwork properly?
I just came accross your blog and am so glad that I did! How wonderful of you to show the step by step progression on this beautiful painting. Thank you SO much!
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