This is a 4 hour study on smooth canvas. If you compare the notes on the demo 'Angel at the Gate" you will see the difference
in effect between smooth and rough canvas.
Occassionally I will do a simple study or sketch like this wih no real meaning or intention but to have fun and see where
I can quickly take it. Sometimes the lack of meaning, like painting a bowl of flowers of something mundane that doesn't require
much thought, can let the work flow more than if I think about it too much. I always consider my best work the work that means
most to me, at least I hope it is- that work that I have spent time and thought creating a strong design and laboring over.
But sometimes, like this piece, its fun to just break away and paint loose, free work and just enjoy spending time painting
|Head blocked in with 1 inch flats
While I like smooth canvas for some effects, after working on the face, I felt the paint was a bit too slick, or sitting up
on the surface, rather than sunk in a bit to give me the pull I like. So below, I took a bit of steel wool and just abraised
the remainder of the gessoed surface, just enough to break it up and give it more tooth for the oil paint to grab better.
(Usually this is done before I start painting!) Such a simple thing, but it really helps to give me the surface I like best.
If your surface is too slick, just rough it up a bit. Make sure to brush or wipe off the scratched over areas and make sure
not to get the steel wool or sandpaper particles into any wet oil paint. As my drawing skills grew, I knew years ago that
if I can get the oil paint to pull off the brush with accurate drawing, then I can really control the final look. Drag, or
pull, not only affects the accuracy and control of how much and how clean each stroke is, but how fast you work! If you want
to put down quick, accurate, direct strokes with minimum hassle and fast results then find the best balance of drawing skill
and paint application and you will find you are drawing with paint with exciting results.
|Using steel wool for a less slippery surface