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Monday, September 28, 2009

The City of Canals Glaze Stage

Antiquing the “The City of Canals” had a few unique challenges. I thinned down the sepia glaze quite a bit to allow more color to come through on this finished painting. I actually had to add a second glaze on this painting to give it a more even application of age. By now you probably realize that this mysterious “antique” quality I have been trying to achieve mostly consists of a brown tint that occasionally looks a lot like mud. Yep! That is what I’ve been looking for all this time. So, I believe that the glaze has achieved the right look. What do you think?

In the following comparison it is easy to see how the glaze has added “time” to the painting. Although the original painting was of a modern city, you can see how rendering a painting that included old cars, horse drawn carriages and the like would have magically turned the clock back many years.



Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fire Starter Glazing

As with previous stages of this painting I'm including the last Fire Starter painting along with the very latest version complete with a glazing of sepia (water soluble oil paint). For the most part I am happy with the results. For one thing, the sepia did accomplish what I set out to do -- to give the painting an antique look. By that I mean the visual impression that the painting may have been done several years ago, perhaps as long as a hundred or so years. I don't think that the glaze does much to improve the painting but that was not my intention. Some may even say this process has perhaps hurt the final product. I actually think the technique adds something positive to the Fire Starter, but that is my opinion. What do you think?
Now here are the before and after images:

The actual glazing process provided some challenges and surprises. I was actually learning how to do it by trying different consistencies of paint and drying times. Here are some things I learned:

1) I started by laying a thin coat of the sepia on the painting, waiting a minute of two and then wiping most of the paint off. I did not want the glaze too dark, especially the Fire Starter.

2) I not only added water to the paint but also I added a mixture of drying medium and blending medium, which tended to make the glaze very wet when applied. It was very easy to add too much water when I was trying to thin the glaze down. If the glaze got too thin (watery) I had to sometimes redo a second coat after the first one dried a couple of minutes.

3) Using a heavier consistency of paint worked fine with the Fire Starter but not as well with the other two studies, “The City of Canals” and “The Castle Above Vaduz,” both of which are much lighter and more colorful than the Fire Starter. I used a much thinner (more watery) glaze on these two studies. I think the thinner glaze worked better.

4) The thinner glaze was harder to control as I tried to apply even layers of sepia. The wet brush tended to puddle at the edges of my strokes. I addressed the problem by gently dabbing the excess paint with a paper towel.

I will share the other two glazed studies in separate blogs.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fire Starter Almost Done

I haven't done much on this study since my last post, but then again I really didn't have much more to say with it. I did I wanted to add a little smoke from the fire trailing off toward the moon.

Here is a last peek before I add the layer of sepia glaze:

When the sepia dries I'll know if the antiquing technique actually worked.



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Liechtenstein Revisited

After a couple of final weeks of baking in the sun, like oil paintings, water-soluble paintings “cure” best. I have them parked in front of my studio windows facing west for afternoon sunlight. Although, our latest run of daily rain showers have provided very little sunlight of late we have had enough to dry the paintings fairly well.

My study I called, “Liechtenstein,” is fairly well along now. In its final stages I’ve decided to change the name to, “The Castle above Vaduz”. Here is a recent photo of the study:

Although I have a few more touches to make, you may have recognized where the scene in my painting comes from.

At the far Eastern end of Switzerland along the Austrian border is the tiny independent nation of Liechtenstein. There's not a whole lot to see of this country but there is the novelty factor – a beautiful castle. Liechtenstein is ruled by a Prince (Hans Adam II). The painting shows the royal residence.

It is no longer open to the public because the Prince lives there. The castle is perched on a cliff above the capital city of Vaduz.

The next step for the painting is to apply the sepia glaze for an antiquing affect.