Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grissel step two

Back on April 2nd I showed you a pic of me painting the terracotta undercoat. From there I painted a sketch of the main figures in raw umber, then filled in the background. Here you can see how I've started the 2nd step of painting the figures, which is putting in the lights with titan buff. This of course is the grissel. Painting a grissel then layering the colours over it is a technique pioneered by the Dutch Masters in particular Jan Van Eyck.
It may be much more time consuming, and therefore not used by many, but it gives such a depth and luminosity to the work that I find it well worth the extra effort. I always find it fascinating that when you put the white over the umber, which is dark brown, the umber turns to a blueish black.

I've spent days working on the next of the 'At Risk' series. I put it away on Friday, because it isn't coming together the way I want it to. I know if I put it away for a few days then go back to it with fresh eyes the piece will be better for it. The concept is good, and the rough layouts worked... but when I started to actually do it... grumble.

My work didn't get into the Woodstock Show, two of the 5 pieces I entered did get into the Appreciation of the Arts though.

I'm sure that's why artist are "all starving". We have to pay to enter these things you know, if your work is selected you have a chance of selling your work, but in most shows only a smallish percentage do. The venue of course takes a commission of anywhere from 10 to 60 %... so why do we do it? 'Cause if you don't show you don't sell, and if you don't sell you very soon get buried under a mountain of paintings, and you need the money from the sales to buy more paint and canvas, because not painting is not an option. Artist are artist because they have to create.

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