this painting has been quite a learning experience. i have used “glazing” on areas of my paintings before… but i wanted to try something different. instead of glazing only certain parts of the painting, i decided the entire painting would be glazed. the canvas had to be smooth to achieve the best glazing surface. i created this smooth surface by “plastering” molding paste between the fibers of the canvas. each layer was sanded before the next. once i had a smooth surface the entire canvas was covered with a base color layer, then a glaze of the various colors was applied over and over and over until the desired color or effect was achieved. here is what wikipedia has about glazing in oils to get an idea of the process.
“In oil painting, the simplest form of a glaze is a thin, oily, transparent layer of paint spread over the top of an opaque passage that has been given some time to dry. Light travels through the glaze and is reflected back off of the opaque layer below. This can cause a glowing effect similar to looking at a brightly lit white wall behind a film of colored cellophane. The thin oily layers of a glaze can facilitate the rendering of details that would be more difficult with opaque paints — e.g. the complexities of skin tones.
When multiple layers of glazes are used, the colors in all visible layers can appear combined. However, the pigments are not physically mixed, since the paint is left to dry before each successive glaze is applied. The artist may apply several layers of paint with increasing amounts of oil added to each successive layer. This process of applying the fat layers (more oil in the painter’s medium) over the lean layers (less oil) can minimize cracking; this is the “fat over lean” principle.
Many painters juxtapose glazes and opaque, thick or textured types of paint application (that appear to push forward) as a means to increase surface variety, which some painters feel increases a painting’s drama, brightness and depth.”
in total this painting has well over 100 layers of glaze. some areas have more layers than others. there are at least nine layers per color however some colors have at least twice that. many of the colors have been juxtaposed as well. the yellow “petal shapes” for example were applied like this… yellow, yellow, yellow, red, yellow, yellow, yellow, red, yellow, yellow, yellow, white. each layer was allowed to dry before the next. in this particular area there are many layers of paint making a color. it looks opaque.. but i can still see a line from the original drawing on the canvas. this is even through all of those layers of paint! that’s how thin the color is. yet it appears as a solid yellow. because of how transparent the colors were the only visual que i would have as to where i had painted and where i needed to paint, was the reflection of the new color against the surface. not really fun, but the final piece… it glows. if the room is dark and you turn on a light the painting “lights up”. pretty neat. because light is so important to the color it’s not the same painting throughout the day. the colors change depending on the light. i can’t wait to use what i’ve learned from this painting on the next one.
Here are 2 galleries. the first gallery is of the finished painting. the second gallery is of the painting in the studio showing up to 100% coverage of the base color layer. you can compare the two and see for yourself the difference insanity makes. 🙂
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