Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oil Painting - Step by Step

I started a new oil painting just before the holidays, and am nearing completion. I decided to photograph my progress, as I was trying a new "technique" with this piece. Previously I had painted directly onto a white canvas, but I find it's much easier to judge values when starting with a toned canvas. I had also tried a grisaille technique, establishing the values in grey tones prior to adding glazes of color. This didn't prove to be a successful technique for me, as I tend to let the paint dry and then repaint entire sections. So with this piece, I just decided to go with my instincts. In the first photo below, I just loosely established the basic shapes to get the proportions right, and wasn't too concerned with details.

In the second photo below, I have begun to lay down some color, mostly darks and mid-tones.
In the third step, I have continued to lay down color, adding more lights and contrast in general.
In the fourth step, I have begun to tighten up the details, except that I have purposefully left out the baby's breath flowers in order to allow the background to dry first.
In the final photo, I have made a few adjustments and added the flowers. The only problem is that the canvas is loose, so I will have to carefully re-stretch it before photographing the final piece.


Debbi said...

Very interesting Holly. Thanks for posting all of the stages! You haven't done many still lives, and it's exciting to see you do another!

sue said...

Beautiful work and so interesting to see how you built the picture

Bruce said...

Wonderful page. I like the new work a lot.