Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dry brush

Those of you who have seen my full length tutorials know that I often start with a midtone when I'm painting clouds. It can either become the shadow part or the bottom layer for the highlights. Then I slowly build up the highlights until I get them just right. With 'Tidal Pool' I took a different approach.
Tidal Pool, oil on panel, 35.4 x 47.2"
I started by painting the blue of the sky covering the entire surface. Waited a day til it was dry. Painted the midtone, a soft purple-like grey. Waited another day. So far so good.
Normally I would've painted a rather thin layer of Titanium White and a hint of Vermillion Red on top of this layer and repeated that in the next few days, up to the right shade of white.

This time I thought I'd try something else. The color mix was the same: Titanium White and a hint of Vermillion Red. The difference: no medium, just pure paint. With a number 30 spalter I bristled the dry paint on top of the bottom layer.The combination of the rough brush and the dry paint worked very well to create a cloud like surface.

I shot the below picture close to the painted surface. Especially on the edges of the highlights it clearly shows the hair-like structure that you get when using this dry brush technique. I left a small zone of the underpainting purple uncovered, to prevent the hard edges that will immediately turn your cloud into an isolated lump. Now it nicely dissolves into the blue sky.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Framing #2

As some of you may know I paint on 6 mil. MDF board. I order them at Mus-paneel, a small Dutch company, specialized in preparing painting boards. They do an exellent job. Got some secret recipe to make the surface as smooth as ice. After doing their magic they ship the boards to my framer to have them cradled.

The cradle is glued to the back of the board 

Cradling is essential, especially for the larger boards. It provides stability and prevents curvature. But there is another reason. I use floaters as a standard frame and the cradle makes it possible for the painting to be screwed to the frame. (By the way, I love that word, floater. It describes exactly what happens: like your painting is floating in its frame. The Dutch term is less poetic: 'baklijst'. 'Bak' means bin, 'lijst' means frame. As if you dump your painting in a bin...)

The width of the border from the cradle to the edge depends on the specifics of the floater you use. The one I've been using the last couple of years allows a 30 mil. width between the cradle and the edge of the boardIf you glue the cradle to far from the edge, it will have no frame to sit on. I probably lost you by now, didn't I? Maybe the above cross section will shed some light. 

The Sea, oil on panel, 47.2 x 63"

Anyway, I thought I'd end this rather dull story with a painting. In a frame.