Thursday, August 13, 2009

Part I- Work in Progress- 30x40-NODP

This will be a two part post. i get lots of requests to show step-by-step demonstrations, so i decided to take pics along the way on this 30x40 commission piece.

here are the brushes i'll lay in this painting with. the larger one is almost 2" wide when you push down on it and the second one is about 1 1/2" wide. my ratio for width of brush to size painting is about 1:15. thats just a guide not a formula. what this means is this....
the width of the brush x 15 is about the width of the canvas. i use these brushes on anything 16x20 up. i dont like brushes bigger than 2" as they get a little unwieldy that big. i love these two cheapo synthetics by American Painter. who wouldnt love a brush that big that costs about $15. available at any Michaels mega craft store. any synthetic will work tho'

after doing a 3"x4" sketch of the scene i gridded it onto the large canvas to get all the shapes in the right places. it just gives you confidence to know that everything is where its supposed to be. that way all you have to worry about is the painting.
here i've laid in all the shapes with pure colors out of the tube, based on the final colors temperature and value. yellows, oranges and pinks in the very warmest areas. blues and purples in the coolest.

Here's the second phase. lay in realistic colors leaving good size chunks of the underpainting showing. i usually either lay in all the dark shadow shapes and then all the light and warm shapes next, or the other way around. this time i went all the lights first. whats nice about doing it that way is then you can surround the lights with darks that arent to dark. this will give it a really sunny look. remember the only place that should be really dark is under the bush where no light is bouncing around. if you work from that area and making it the darkest shadow, you just make sure that every other shadow is lighter than that area.
i'll finish the painting up in a few hours and take some more pics for tomorrows post when i show you how it came out.
oh, BTW this is already sold.


Justin Holdren said...

Mike, do you prefer synthetics when working in oils, or do you also use bristle brushes? I like bristles for real "painterly" work, but find I can keep the color cleaner with synthetics.

mike rooney studios said...

justin- i use all synthetics and have since i started. toyed with bristles early on but felt like i was painting with a broom. have so much more control with a nice sharp synthetic bright. but thats just me. i tell students to paint with whatever theyre most comfortable with.