Saturday, June 4, 2011

Work In Progress Update

Photos coming tomorrow...So as much time as I've devoted to studying pigments and their properties, they can still be so surprising! With my new series of paintings (starting with "Calling in the Four Quarters" which is the orange background/birds/witch with energy coming out of her hands) I'm using a bastardization of the Verdaccio technique. For that painting, I chose Terra Verte and Burnt Umber/ Sienna for the underpainting, and I used Titanium White with walnut oil for the skin layers. Walnt and safflower oils are the best for whites and light colors because they don't yellow over time like linseed.
But..for thiis next in-progress work, the Shaman with Wands, I wanted to use the more traditional Chromium Oxuide Green and Flake White Replacement. True Flake White has lead, so I chose the alternative by Gamblin. Gamblin's an oil paint brand started by an artist with the purpose of re-creating alot of Old Masters mediums without the toxicity (or to a lesser degree). Flake White Replacement is described as a "warm, ropey white that gives skin tone its glow".It may sounds odd to think of an opaque white that "glows", but it's really true: this flake white replacement is ropey, gooey, thick, and it really glows. It's a pleasure to work with. BUT, I have notices some sinking in, so I've had to add more layers than expected. And the COG is so much lighter than TV. I've decided I prefer TV for the underpaiunting green tones, but the COG is lovely for blending on top of the white, as it has an eery glow to it.
And white FWR is delicious to work with, and settles in nicely, be continues to settle! And I'm a bit nervous, because the blob on my paint swatch palette has turned a creamy light I need to figure out what is going on there! I rarely use whites..while it's the most commonly bought paint for most people, I mix with greys and other ochres and nickels and naples..but for these paintings I need particular white affects..and while I've found the brightest and, in my opinion, most archival whites, I'm yet to decide what will be my warm white of choice. We'll see what further testing of the FWR brings, and while I have Old Holland's titanium white to try out, it just makes no sense to me to use any white with linseed oil, no matter how underfined..and that's the problem with FWR, the linseed oil. So...looks like the next logical choice will be Sennelier's Titanium White, which is made with safflower and whose TW is supposed to be the "most opaque". Not such a fan of just straight "TW", but I'll have to give it a go and see how that pigment settles.