In the run-up to the wonderful holiday of New Year I would like to share with everyone the secret of painting in the technique of Old Masters. This tutorial is purposed for beginners, amateurs and even professionals. Perhaps, it will be curious to see the way I work, the technique I use for painting.
I must say that the figure indicated in the Time column is approximate because sometimes I suspended work for a whole week! To let the paint get dry.
To create the picture you need:
1. Primed canvas.
2. A set of oil paints.
3. Bristle and kolinsky brushes (5 pc total: 2 mop, 1 medium and 2 thin — for small details).
4. Thinner No. 4 — Pinene.
6. Palette / board for mixing colours.
7. Small dip cup / little jar / container for thinner.
8. Cloth to wipe brushes in paint.
So, let's start!
1. Start with a sketch. Draft the composition of your future painting on paper with a soft pencil. Determin the proportions of the canvas (rectangle, square, elongated rectangle).
Work out the tone — what is darker or lighter. Thus, the compositional center is determined. The most contrasting part is usually found there.
2. Determine the composition (what is actually going to be painted), transfer your idea on canvas using tone — here the line is thin, there it's disappearing in space, and somewhere it's turning into a blur, on the contrary. Due to this, it becomes clear what to do next since the first hours of work. Each stage has its own result and degree of readiness.
3. Start with the sky. At least because of teh reason that all great artists began their paintings with the sky. It serves as a tuning-fork for the picture — its lightest spot.
Also in my experience of teaching I would say that everyone can succeed in painting the sky, regardless the level of the student. But if a start has been made well, later work would be incredibly enjoyable.
4. Right after that, paint the greens over wet, before the sky gets dry. The tops of the trees should touch the sky softly. Due to these touches, the space is formed in the depth of the picture! The touches should be rough in the foreground and soft in the background, merging with the sky.
Well, for the first day it's enough, you can relax. But if you still have some strength, and the creative passion has not subsided, go forward to the next stage!
5. And now something incomprehensible begins, but very useful and interesting — grisaille. Really strange, why make what you can't see in the paintings of great artists.
I'll try to explain: this phase of their work is hidden under glaze — transparent paint layers put over grisaille. For example, the restorers have counted the great Titian to have even 15 glazes over grisaille. The 'trick' was that if you take the lighter tone of, for example, a house, you will easily bring it to the right clolour with glazes, but if you take a darker tone, you'll have to start all from thу beginning!
Leave it to get dry.
Though all these details are needed for you onlly to paint a picture in the technique of Old Masters.
6. Some things can be done without grisaille, as a rule, these are small details that are useless to be done in grisaille and transferred into coloгr — they're too small.
7. Yay! You're over with the grisaille! Transfer the picture into colour! Paint the white houses the colour you need (brown this time) with transparent thin paint (glaze).
8. And finally, the finishing step. Here we are again perfecting the whole painting with a brush in hand, refining extra paint dripped in the process of work, specifying small details (faces, hands, etc.).
And... make the picture a little shabby! We are painting an old-timey thing, after all. This is made with a liquid paint wiping — Leningrad raw umber. So that it huddled into the traces left with the brushes. It's hard to see in the photo, but this creates the effect of a centuries-old dust, patina of time.
You can cover this all with fir or Damar varnish later (available in any art salon — where paints are sold). It's not necessary. This rather depends on your preferences what kind of painting you like most: matt or glossy. Glossiness is just applied by varnish.
Well, it was in short, I hope! And hope you gained something useful from my experience.
If you have any questions, write, call me — I'll be happy to answer everyone!