Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2nd Scrape back..Oil Painting of Beau























Well...the alla primist in me went, "ouch!" scraping
this off...and we can see not a lot of what was painted
last night remained. However...notwithstanding, a
portion enough remained to suggest this film ghost
or residue that remains does work. Patience is
what this method requires, I can see that outright,
but again...this may lay clue to how the masters
achieved their luminous blemish pearl like flesh
tones...thinking of Sargent's Lady Agnew, for one
example.

When Sargent no doubt brought his successive
scrape backs to an end...his remaining finishing
brushstrokes that left his work appear so freshly
spontaneously painter were most critical. To that
end, the way he held his brush was described as
"hanging in the air"...which writers and analysts
believe meant he took careful aim and thought to
where precisely each brushstroke of laden paint
would touch down.

Another thing that doing this has made me think
about is even the issue of how long a wait before
scraping. Last night's painting effort ended about
8pm...and thus this morning's scraping a little over
twelve hours. Doesn't sound like a lot of time with
oil, but I use copal as my medium and is a natural
siccative (drier) as well as other properties I look
to.

So...I'll be painting again. If anything else, each
repaint causes the artist to become something of
an expert of the individual's face, eyes...structure,
so that the end work should be masterful for good
reason!

2 comments:

Jeremy Elder said...

This is a very interesting process. I read in Richard Schmid's book "Alla Prima" that Sargent would scrape off drying paint and reapply it so that he could continue to work wet into wet if a portion of the paint had dried overnight. But what you wrote shows that there may have been more reason to it than just working wet into wet. I am looking forward to learning from your study. Thanks for sharing.

Larry Seiler said...

yep...and some painters would add say a layer of copal medium (or other medium) over dry passages..a thin layer and paint into.

This is an eye opener for me as well...thanks Jeremy!