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Transcript from a forum posted on .how-todraw-and-paint.

com called Flemish and

Italian Renaissance technique discussion
as started on november 27th 2010 by
Wow, I had no idea of the properties of onion, thank you guys!
I'm done with the first umber layer, so here's how I did it: cut a fresh onion in two
and carefully rubbed it all over the dry underpainting; on top of that rubbed
in linseed oil. Then took a paper towel and wiped it all out of the canvas in
circular movements. The colors I've used: burnt umber, naples yellow, a tiny bit
of yellow ochre and titanium white (I can only hope that it's ok to use this set of
colors for the umber layer - please let me know if it was wrong!).

If I understood correctly, the purpose of the second umber layer is to reinforce

the darkest darks and highlights. Or perhaps there's no need for that? What do you
guys think.
you use umber to tint your canvas its a drying agent in an of it self so no liquen it sould
be dry in a day or so not that big a deal you want to tone your canvas to the mid toneal
value you find this by looking at your photo and squinting your eyes the blury color you
see will be the mid tone but its not that critical it more to take the glare of a white canvas
away so you dont hurt your eyes staring at a white canvas alot over the years can aculy
damige your eyes alow we want to be abal to consintrait on are subject and color chouses
no be distracted visouly but a bright white wich is destracting even if you are not aware
that you are bing influinsed
the damar gose in your medeam on this layer your mideam sould be aproxsmatly 50%
linseed and 50% turps take and eye drper and add 1 or 2 drops of damar in to it thats how
litile you need then on each layer you add 1 or 2 max to the mdeam so that add when you
do the umber layer add in the gray layer then add for the color layer finaly in the detail
layer hope thats clear
there are no hard and fast rules on this i ues strate umber but looking at what you did it
looks like all be trying it Delmus ueses T white in his if you go to his web site he
exsplains its ok to find short cuts as long as they dont interfer with other proceses i dont
really paint as complex on my umber layer as you do i just block out the darks really
quickly and move on its not wrong what you have done in the slitest just nexst time i
think if i where you id be more judsous about it as its all going to be coverd up any way
and you mite whant to reinfours the darks a bit deeper this is so over the centurys as your
colors fade the darks underneath will still be there umber never shift color no mater how
old it is as its a burnt earth and is at its max oxsidation from the first day you put it one
dose that make sens
Mad Capt gave a recipe of 50% Linseed oil, 25% Damar Varnish, 25% Turp
Paul just gave his recipe of 50% L.Oil & 50% Turp with 1-2 drops of Damar Varnish.

How about Mad Capt and Paul give a discussion of the difference in the recipes. I was it
settled so I have just one that I am going to go with. Wonder what Delmus uses?
Have a question about my drawing and the technique. Seems to me it would be better for
me to draw the entire pot's decoration and then AFTER I paint the pot I would add the
glare spots during one of the final glaze layers? Is that correct? I noticed on Paul's
dancer he left out the hightlight areas, but that is different than a decorated pot. What do
you think? Thanks always for the help. Roena PS the pot is hand painted and the
decorations are not "machine" perfect.

Mary: I think if I was you, I would stop where I was, sell this for a few hundred euros, or
.shekels (few thousand than)...and start another one. I couldn't imagine it being any
better, its blooming out of my screen! Anyway, for your grey layer, I'd just touch up a
few spots, maybe not do anything at all and go right to color. How are you planning your
color? Soft values or bright chromas? Interesting to see what you do with this.
Ro: Well at least we both agree on 50% linseed oil, right? Thats whats nice about this
method, regarding mediums, they are all general suggestions because there is absolutly
NO agreement as to what mediums Rubens, Vermeer , Van Eyck, Michaelangelo,
etc...used. They simply didn't write things down. Some things you can count on...The
Venetian method used softer edges and therefore probably an "oilier" medium, possibly
with the addition of venetian turpentine, which is actually a resin that, when mixed with
your oil, causes the paint to spread a bit. Flemish paintings had sharper edges, so these
artists might have used more of a stiff, gel type medium...beeswax, stand oil,
mastics...any number of things could of been used. The thing to remember with mediums
is that a little goes a long way, its like mortar holding bricks together, too much and the
structure is weak. How much medium do you use? Your choice, isn't that nice? But
remember fat over lean...the further you go with your painting, the more medium ( drops
at a time depending on how much paint you are using) you will be adding.
if i rembered it right i think i was giving the recipy that i got from Delums Mdeams are
vary personal i like to keep things simple if you want to ues Alans Recpie then by all

means do so i dont like ues alot of Damar its a vary powerful binder and even minut
amounts work just fine if i were to go with Alans perpotion i would worry that the damar
mite make for a vary slick and shinny cerface not a bad thing to have on your final coat
as it seals dust out but when i want to continue painting more layers i dont want to riske
that my new paint will not properly adhere to the old layers i try to paint as iff my work
will servive for 400 years or more so its just a mater of opinon many sources tha i have
read sujested a few drops of damar increasing it by the drop in each susaquent layer sorry
if Alan and i confsed you but more often then not this is the kind of thing thats going to
come up over and over as we both said thers not alot of eveadence around as to what the
masters did im uesing the techniquse that have been around the longest as far as modurn
patings go but sins nun are 400 years old whos to say what is best so again i defer to your
comfort leveal and preforencese for mdeams you can buy pre made mdeams many are
vary fine quality its up to you all confess some times i only ues Linseed and nothing ells
that works too just what ever you do keep it simple you want to be abal to rember from
one painting to the nexst whats you have done in the past keep notes if your going to
A drawing of some kind that will resist turps and linseed
toning your canvas
creating the darkest parts in som earthy tone like burnt umber but any dark tone will work
a gray or colore laer that is monocrom in nature it can be Gray Red Yelow Grean Blue or
any shad or colore you want
i tend to pick colors that suport my finished works color goles
then a colore layer of your opaces
then your glazing to reinfors depth of value shadows deep colore
then your detail layer were you add texstures imposto high lights and any thing elss that
mite requier a high leveal of detail
then drying time
and finly some nice ceats of linseed or demar to deal out dirt and grime and give your
wok that profestional finish
and finly framing to make it all raped up like a pretty window
im not sure i understand not only your question on your drawing all dteals of inportens
are added to the drawing but not conpleated untill the colore layers but you can do them
from the first time on if you want its not that inportent as far as i know the brightest spots

are going to have an underpining from the umber layers on but not final whites are added
untill the detail layers dose that make sens
you noted that on my ballarina thers a lack of high lights except the most promint ones on
here face thats becas i will not add them untill almost the end of the painting there are the
quickest of all the dteals some times its just a dab here and there did that answer you
some of theas pertain to an indavisouls style of painting some people like to be vary
detaild right off and some like to wait untill the end i gues it depends on how much you
like to paint around things if that dosint bother you then paint the decorations in as early
on as you want
for an exsample on my latist work Intimicy all be painting in the tatoo on my body
builders arm from the gray layer on its just to magure a focal point not to give alot of
depth and atention to
i want that tatoo to have many layers of colore and value to it so i think it needs the gray
layer for me to work out and understand what it needs

paintings will tell you what they need if you live in the spirit of being there and geting
real with your work i fall in to a trance like state when i paint i become one with the work
i look and lisin to its values its rithems i develop a mental dialog with my self as if i am
the painting and it is me i hope thats not to metaphisical for every one but i want to
reinfors that its vary importent for ever one to relaxe and not get to bent out over details i
really just want you to get in there and be like 5 year olds they see paint and the squel
with dalight they grab and they smire and they creat and then live what they do and thats
how i want you to Paint
Carpa Deum "Sees the Day!
Question: After oiling out, do you let the oil dry or paint immediatly?
Arno you paint directly over the linseed when its wet first put the linseed in the palm of
your hand to warm it up then just take your fingers or a brush and put it on the canvas not
to heavy as you will let it sit for 2 or 3 mints then take a lint free cloth and wipe off most
of it you whant it prity thin the idea is that it acks as a lubracent for your bushes and helps
you spred your paint it alsow acks as a primer helping the new paint to bond with the old
dont forget befor you oil out to rub the hole canvas with a raw onion this acts on the old
paint as a vary controld sofaning agent and is perticulerly inportent when you are painting
over Titaneaum white which drys vary slick and shinny and resist new paint
all i can say is WOW ! its so cool to see how you all interprit what it means to do
an umber layer i never take hardly any time on them insted chosing to focus on

the gray laer as my primary guid but you all got me thinking mabe iv been going
about this rong that umber layer is so beatifull i almost wept with emostion
sirously good job Michelle

do you feel are have you noted how doing this umber layer is like practising your
final work and how it takes the strees out of painting becuas you get to see
exsactly how the final work will come together thers nothing left to chans in this
procese and even if you have no idea where you are going by the time you get to
the color layer i can asure you that you will know
Michelle.........really good job. I actually like your background better than the "flat"
background on the original painting. Could you discribe your process as that is very
much like what I want for the background on the pots I am doing. You might know a
trick to share, please. Also, the color of the material on the lower part of the girl is pretty
much the color of my pot. What color did you use. Even her face - a bit more dull would be similar to the color in a different spot on the pot. What color was that? Thanks
for your help on background technique ideas and colors.
Hi Ro, the colour on her face is a mix of burnt umber, yellow ochre and alizarian
crimson, the bottom half of the robe is burnt seinna, alizarian crimson and prussian blue.
the background is a mix of black, burnt umber and prussian blue. I actually put this on
roughly with a large brush then used a 'chux' to dab it off again and blend in around the
'lost edges.
Michelle, .........(you said........used a 'chux' to dab it off again..(I just love these around
the entire globe of the world converstation because we learn so much.) What is a
Sorry Ro, a 'chux' is one of those stripey paper towel things you use in the house for
cleaning etc. I expect paper towel would do the same thing. I just keep a roll of these
chux towels in my art room to clean my brushes etc. I didnt use the india ink on the gypsy
girl, just carbon to trace then painted the lines back in very carefully. I think I've given up
on using ink. I must be heavy handed with it or something because I cant seem to cover
the ink in the painting process.
I figured the Flemish method wouldn't work without the dead layer, so here it is:

doing great Marry thats just how it sould look with bits of the umber coming threw here
and there you can leave some of that all the way to the end i often do its looks vary artsy
On Delmus's site this is what I found. He gave 3 recipes depending on "which layer you
were on".
IMPRIMATUR LAYER = approx 3T turp and 1 eye dropper of Damar varnish. You dip
your brush into the mixture and then into the paint. Paint thin, brush-blend all brush
marks away.
OTHER LAYERS = approx 3T turp, 3 eye droppers of Damar varnish, and 3 eye
droppers of Linseed oil.
COLOR LAYER = approx 3T turp, 3 eye droppers of Damar varnish, and 5 eye droppers
of Linseed oil
((Later layers more oil for the fat over lean rule).
Ro, yeah I've mentioned the size - it's 30x40cm - in inches it should be something like

What do you mean "comparing the steps", whose steps? Also not sure what you meant by
"I might try that again if you "dont" put it on your site so I can easily go look" - try what
again? lol, sorry, I might be having a dense moment!
Yea....I got some paint on the canvas. Seems like a few were concerned that the
1st layer on some were too dark, so I went way light. I used only Bt Umber. My
medium was Delmus's recipe of 3 T Turp and 1 dropper full of Damar Varnish.
After I put it on and it started to dry some - me using the soft mop brush to erase
brush strokes, it finally started to "do something" and give me some texture. I
think I will do many layers of this process so that I get something dark, but not
flat paint. Worth a try. I did Mad Capt suggestion to hit the fur and pots with
just enough Bt Umber color to "kill the white". Now, I am going to onion and
then oil out and apply more Bt Umber to the pots and another layer on the
background. /// I also played guinnie-pig and had my fur sketched in in ink, got
out some wet sandpaper and using turp I wet-sanded over some of the lines just to
see what it would do. I wiped that part down with a paper towel and turp after. It
softened it just a little, but not much. I thought that might have been an option.
/// Does any one have an opinion about putting a drop or two of Cobalt Dryer
in the turp mixtures once I get to the Dead Layer? Just wondering as I have
some. Ro

QUESTION. What if I only want to paint on a small area of my painting -- like I am

going to be working on one of the pots and that is all the time I will have today. Can I
just oil out the area where I am going to be working OR is it really good to have as many
"oil out" layers as you can get on a painting and I should oil out the entire painting even
though I know I will only be working on a small pot area? I hate to ask silly questions,
but who else am I going to ask? he he
yes you can oil out in just the area you want to work in its probly a good idea when you
get down to the detail layers that you only oil out in that spot no need to smear linseed
were its not nedded you know if you are working with alot of mdeam in your paint as i
often do you dont have to oil out at all the oiling out procese is to lubracat your canvas so
that your paint and bushes glide smothly and some afects are easer like sucmbing but
say i wanted to do a dry bush technique it would be vary hard to do on an oild canvas as
in this case you would want your paint to brake acrossed the serface so you have to ues
your judgment on when to do a perticuler technique and the only way to really know is to
try it and see if it works for you genraly speaking its a good idea to oil out so i would say

do it as often as you can but if its going to complcat things dont do it in that perticuler
spot but then go back to it as soon as posibal
Meanwhile I laid in a quick portrait drawing and began blocking in with a thin mixture
of burnt umber, yellow ochre, prussian blue and titanium white (oil paints), after toning
the canvas with an acrylic wash of naples yellow mixed with a small bit of prussian blue.
The medium consists of 4/5 Sansodor and 1/5 liquin. Size: 40x50cm

Most of my commissions are posthumous portraits, so painting studies is not only great
practice, but also a nice break from a work routine. I honestly believe that I've learned the
most by doing mastercopies and recommend everyone to do the same!
I will approach the color layer pretty much the same as any other grisaille - which means
trying to avoid mixing complementary colors because of the grays underneath. As I'm
sure you know, mixing complementaries will result in more grays that will make the
color looks muddy. To know which colors to mix is probably a function of experience
and if you do it right, there shouldn't be a need in many color glazes.
've touched the canvas again. In two mintues I learned that wet sanding can remover
some of the background color!, and that ONION juice will remove a whole lot of the
Indian ink. Problem solved for those who wish the drawings were not so dark. It did
smear the ink ever so slightly around a bit, but since my pots are susposed to be old, I
think it did not cause me any problems. I did put some of the glaze used for the very first
layer and a tiny bit of color on the pots, but apparently not enough to "seal" the ink. I

was trying hard to retain that white. So- Wet sand with NO pressure and rub onion
carefully in the direction of the line to soften that ink to almost gone. My painting is not
ruined, but a good lesson learned. Whew.

I've spent a few hours today on the first color layer of my rose painting and as
promised, I'm attaching a few progress shots.

I've used different colors on each segment:

The rose: cadmium red deep hue, alizarin crimson, titanium white
Background: coeruleum blue, ultramarine blue, prussian blue, burnt umber, raw
sienna, titanium white.
Mary: Were you born in 17th century Holland or something? Your rose is amazing. How
long did you work on the colors

PAUL, could you please take a really close up pic of the outer edge where there is just
one layer of material thickness so that we can see how you did that? (on your dancer)
yes thats awsome and my sujesten dont ues turps i just use my mdeam to thin and to clean
up I ues Old Master Brush Sope it comes in cakes and big tubs by the tubs its cheaper
then you hous will never smell besides Turps slow down drying i hardely ever geat any
comment from visaters that they can smel paint mainly they ask what the oily oder is and
thats linseed but its vary miled
Paul, I do use a paint brush soap cleaner, and I use linseed to clean my brushes after the
soap. I use so called 'oderless thinners' but my art supply shop says that still give some
people headaches. What thinning medium do you use? Does anyone else have any
suggestions for using a thinning solution that is not toxic? My only other option is to
paint outside and hope that works, not very practical in our summer heat though. Would
welcome some help on this one if you can guys.
As often happens when flittin through cyberspace, I found some rubbish, and
some gems. This is one of them, great information on critiquing, both your own
work and that of others.
Interesting article on mediums in old masters
well, from all I can find it seems Walnut oil is the thing to use for thinning and as
a painting medium for its non-toxicity. Well I guess I'll have to just try a painting
using walnut oil only in this technique to see what results I get.
I also found an information sheet on the toxicity of certain paints I though
everyone might be interested in. I think I'll have to start wearing thin latex gloves
when I paint in oils for health safety too. it might be easier to paint with, but it
sure isnt the safest of mediums is it!?


Graham-OilColorsAndMediums.pdf, 36 KB

Michelle, I see you have already found out about Walnut Oil that I was going to suggest.
An oil painter who paints on Ustream uses Walnut Oil. He even drinks some to prove it
is no problem. He calls himself "Dave The Painting Guy".

Mechelle be carfull with oderless thiner thats a hufamisum for Minral spirits which is not
conpatibal with Damar varnish i learnd this the hard way your pating will develop bumps
thats the damar converting back to cristals inside the paint filme and soon you will get an
oily resado on the serface of your pating thats the Minral spirits leaching to the tope of
the paint layers takes a long time to dry and your pating could fail in less then a cuple of
years if not sooner
i dont ues any volital thiners at all just linseed and Liquen the old masters did not have
much in the way of thiners the italians uesd reseins they colected from trees and certin
i wouldint recomend walnut oil it yelows pretty badly and in just a cuple of decades
Linseed is the best its non toxic tho i wouldint drink it as the light stuff has ben exsposed
to liquen to bleach it that alsow gos for saflower popy seed and just about any other oils
they all yellow fast and deeply
dont all the 'recipes' for the medium used in this method call for linseed oil,
mineral turps and damar varnish in some proportion at each stage? Thats' what
I've been using and it's been a lethal mix for me with the headaches. So Paul, are
you saying I dont need to use this recipe? That I can just use linseed at each stage
Can you give the recipe you use at each stage please? Maybe I'll try that.

Michelle: Your nun, I mean gypsy (laugh...) looks great! Very Flemish primitive.
Thats not an insult, it was simply the style of painting used even earlier than the
Flemish masters, around the 14th- 15th century. Jan Van Eyck was one famous
example, in fact he was falsely credited with "inventing" oil painting. Careful
with the pupils in her eyes, they are different sizes. Please keep posting.
Sugestion: keep her skin tones very light with very little shading, but make her
clothes bright colors, accenting folds and stuff. That will REALLY be Flemish
primitive...and very cool!

Michelle: Your nun, I mean gypsy (laugh...) looks great! Very Flemish primitive.
Thats not an insult, it was simply the style of painting used even earlier than the
Flemish masters, around the 14th- 15th century. Jan Van Eyck was one famous
example, in fact he was falsely credited with "inventing" oil painting. Careful
with the pupils in her eyes, they are different sizes. Please keep posting.
Sugestion: keep her skin tones very light with very little shading, but make her
clothes bright colors, accenting folds and stuff. That will REALLY be Flemish
primitive...and very cool!

Well, miraculously my Bouguereau underpainting was dry today and I thought it would
be a good idea to analyze the reference closer before doing any more work on the
painting. Eventually I got convinced that he had painted his self portrait in a classical
verdaccio style - a full color layout on a soft gray greenish ground. Then he proceeded
with his regular scumbling (slightly rubbing in the paint without a medium).
So here goes - the painting after more work today and a closeup to show how rough it
still is.

Mary: How do you do that so fast?? Is scumbling how he got his soft edges?

MadCapt, I've done tens of drawing, value and color studies during the past year on top of commissioned portraits, so it's probably a matter of practice.
Great point about the edges - yep I think his fabulous edgework is mostly due to

Mary: Interesting point about the scumbling. Even though Bou (I'm too lazy to
spell out his name but I lover his art, especially "The Broken Jar"...poor girl!)
lived quite a bit later, his style is very Venetian, which I THINK developed into
the "French school", which was the style he actually used. If I want to use his
technique in my portrait of the girl, what tips could you give regarding medium,
progression (dark to light, glazed darks and opaque lights?), etc. I love the
softness of his works.

Ro, gosh speed is such a non-issue! I don't believe that any great art has been created fast
and sincerely hope that it'll never be used as a criteria.
With that said, there is no other way of gaining skills but to practice a lot. Once you learn
to draw well and read values accurately you simply start to get things "right" sooner
and then it won't matter what style you choose for yourself - palette-knife loose or photorealism tight - you will struggle less.

MadCapt, I think Bouguereau's grandeur lies in his modeling technique and it

would be impossible to explain it without breaking the color up by value, hue and
chroma. As far as I know, he's never used glazing and his use of medium was
minimal. As for your portrait - look carefully for values at your reference and if
you keep track, then in my humble opinion it shouldn't matter whether you start
with the lights or with the darks.
Mary, I just saw your completed rose in your album, WOW! Could you write down what
colors you used for the color layers? You wrote down the colors for the first layer in one
of your previous comments. Any others for the other color layer? How did you achieve
that magnificent, velvet-like color (and texture) for the inside of the rose (and the same of
some petals)? Any details of your method you care to share?
With regard to the rose painting, I've added two more colors for the final layer: scarlet
lake and cadmium red light. Otherwise it's the same process as described in earlier posts
(onion and oiling out before each layer). The texture is achieved by the layering method
itself - earlier layers will shine through.
You'll learn best by trying this method for yourself - hope you'll share your work!
Mary, thanks for the answer. I will have to get scarlet lake. - I just looked up the
difference between alizarin crimson and scarlet lake (I have al crimson at home). The
latter (sc lake) has an orange-ish tint rather than a blue undertone per what I read
Here's the first layer of Bouguereau scumbling - no medium, just paint applied with a

Thanks Mary,
I am too inspired.I even started but am still in the middle. Will definitely complete
and upload it.
Had a question. When you say, its just paint and no medium.Isnt medium
important.I have heard oil paint without medium tends to crack.. Is that true??

Geetika, it shouldn't crack because there is oil on oil point. The only difference
between scumbling and glazing is that glazing as a rule is more transparent, and
both are thin layers. I found this article

discussing glazing and scumbling and the colors to use and all. It was very imformative I

In my thinking glazing is very "watery" and thiner pigment and transparent. Scumble is
almost like a dry brush with only a small amount of paint on your brush where you just
hit and miss across the canvas. Is this a correct thinking
Ro did you get that part right at the end when he talks about uesing a patroliem
based varnish isnted of a turps base to fasilatate removal by restorers so that it
dosint disturb the paint layers underneeth? makes perfict sens to me and to think i
mostly ues turps Based stuff its a good thing Liquen isint turps based but patrolim
based but its conpatibal with turps from what i understand its the only pertoliem
bass that is

iv seen sevral underlayers on patings from the 14 ceture that were not conpleat
and they all looked blended to me but you could try it undbelded and see how it
turns out i ues a blending brush it looks like a blush brush that people ues to put
makup on with they come in many sizes you can genttly pat the earea to be
blended or you can do back and forth like a scumble or you can do swarls i do all
of the obove just depends on were i want to move the paitn you can alow ues
those to make a line look strate by moving it in the direction of the line a few
times cleans it right up i like to do a vary conpleat loking under pating its my
thing dont feel you have to falow my lead on this thers a lot of room for difrent
tchniques let your artistic instinks be your giude or falow mine its up to you

what is the difference between the imprimatura, the toning of the canvas and the
umber layer?

Toning is when we tint the entier canvas the mid value of are copastions it gives a
starting point for value in are umber layer its ok if you didnt do it its better if you do but
as iv said befor there are many ways to do this the basic steps are a giude only but i want
every one to stick to it as much as you can untill you get comfterbal then let insparaition
be your lead this toning layer and umber layer act as a foundation and also a cemical
stabalising layer a Burnt Umber never changes colore no mater how old it is its enert and
it sucks in oil from the uper layers and disperses it making them dry faster
what you really get out of this technique altamatly is a total emursion in value reality
thats why after you have been doing it for a wile even if you deside to do a sigal layer
painting you will find that your abilitys to creat Light and dark values has increast
exsponesualy pluss it really inhanses are undersanding of the cemistry of painting along
with glazing tech which is starting to becaum a dieing art in the fields of Painting with

Damaclese, thanks, so this means that after the gesso and getting he canvas
straight, first you tone the whole canvas, then you do the drawing part? Then
comes the umber layer with the darks and the lights, then the dead layer, then 2
color layers - am I correct?

you do the drawing first then the toning the rest of your list is corect
Oh, and with the toning of the canvas. My reading on this lately has said to leave
this as light as you can, and to leave your highlight areas bare canvas so they
show lighter in the final painting. I guess youre right, everyone seems to have a
different method in this process and experimentation is the only thing that will in
the end analysis show what works for you and what doesnt. I'm a bit like the
American painter who said, "let the next generation get their own art!" I dont
really care if it lasts as long as 500 years :)
Ro said "SHOULD I try to fix it on this layer, or can things like that be fixed on
the gray layer better?"
Hi Roena! Yes, fix it now. Otherwise in years to come, as the paint layers on top
begin to fade, this line will begin to show through. I can't remember the name of
the work, or even the artist, Mad may know, it is of a horse with 5 legs. The artist
moved the position of one leg later in the painting, and as the years went by, the
old leg began to show through and now appears as a 5th leg.
A couple of methods can be used. Scraping carefully with a rounded razor, or
using 800 grit wet sand paper keeping the paper wet with turps or oil to remove
this layer at this spot. I had a similar repair but on a larger scale recently of an
extra petal on a Lily. The work had been completed, so all layers were present.
Scraping and finally sanding to feather the edges helped. After the repair
however, the paint film is intact, but viewing the painting from an extreme angle
shows a slight ghosting of the repaired area.
Any major changes I think are best done in the early stages of a work. Later
changes just become more difficult.
Hope this helps!
Paul, how do you get your image onto your canvasas as they are so large? Do you have a
projector? I'm thinking of rising to the challange of a larger canvas but all the work of
enlarging the picture by hand onto butchers paper then getting it onto the canvas
accuratley is detering me a little. I've thought of buying a projector, does anyone use
them? And any hints on what to look for when purchasing one?

well this is what i think if you are a vary competend artist and can honistly say that you
can draw any thing then i say for the sake of time ues a projector but if you arnt so good
then you sould do it by hand as you need to develope your skills that being said
if your going to do it on a grand scale then projecting has its draw backs the larger you go
the more dispered the light becomes the harder it is to see the details and its inportent that
you understand what you are drawing down to a vary sharp edge so do the grid systome
that what i do for vary larg works like my 46x46 theres almost no one no mater how grate
that can do an acurity reproduction on that size you loos perspective so draw out a sireas
of lins on your picture by stating in the mideal bothe ways and keep subdeviding your
picture till you have a grid that covers the entier thing then do the exsact same thing on
your canvase just make sure that both the picture and the canvas have exsactly the same
number of lins all draws in exsactly the same places then start your drawing by picking
threw each sector 1 by 1 untill its conpleat dont forget to stand back and look offten you
want to make sure you are staing fathfull then when you finish pick threw the drawing
and remove the grid line they can becaome confusing at times if they dont bother you the
dont then draw the hold thing over with waterproof ink
thats what i do on the larger ones say 30x40 or bigure thers a picture of me standing in
front of Hungry Koi that showes my grid all post it just so you can see forgive the quality
of my photo

I decided I would add some bt.sienna for some color still in a glaze. I left out a stupid
line! If you draw something with lots of lines like the pots and they have
colors.draw/shade in the colors. Had I have done that then I would have realized I
left one out. Ok, so I just smear the color all over the area. Take a deep breath and, later
after supper, I am looking at the photo again, I think I can fix the line and still be able to
paint the design.
I remember when I was drawing in that area, that, I was thinking I understood the
Indians design and just started drawing it. Wrong!
What is going on? Am I the only one having stupid things happen?
I cannot do the onion (it erases my ink lines) and oil out, so I am just doing the oil. I let it
set a moment and take a tissue and start to wipe it off. is taking

off the glaze I did yesterday. Ok, so on Indian pots, that might add interest or
texturebut on someones face it would be a disaster.
I think I am adding to much medium trying to thin for lighter values the Bt Umber
instead of putting on regular paint and just spreading it thinly. ANY IDEAS OR
Did you have any of this problems?
Without realizing I missed something I needed to do, I did not do the imprumpra (sp) or
the under drawing. Maybe that is the problem?
just a thought, maybe you're not giving your painting time to dry between the layers?
This is a very slow process for me, my gypsy is still tacky from the grey layer and will
probably be another week I think before I'll be game to touch her again. It's hot and
humid here so that is probaby affecting the drying times (no aircon). I'm not overly
worried about it, I can wait.
you know you guys and gals can add Liquen or any other alked based agent to exselarat
the drying normaly when i add liquen i can paint the nexst day or at the lastes two days
except when im doing glazing were thers a high % of linssed then it takes about a week to
dry just a thought
Paul, I was trying Delmus's recipe for the first layer, and now moved on to the "2nd or
other" layers of 3T turps, 3 Droppers of Damar varnish and 3 droppers of Linseed oil.
///// I find it interesting that I can wipe it off (when I dont want to).
.........................So............if noone else is having this problem...........what am I doing
wrong? R U adding medium to your paint at the umber layer?
what % liquin do you add to the linseed? You know...1 part to 2 parts etc?
Ro, my unber layer was painted in very leanly just using linseed. I havnt used anything
else on the gypsy because the turps, damar, linseed mix just gave me shocking headaches
Ro, I used turp, linseed and a little Dammar - just as I read it, well, the ratio is about that,
I did not exacly measure it. I also messed up some lines and had to go and make them
again, But I always tried to use the existing shadows, the lights etc. so I don't have to
scrape. Can you show where you missed the line? I think you will be able to solve the
problem - some eggnog might help in getting ideas. :-) (kidding... or not?)
Michelle: I copied the main lines of the rose but what happened is that when I was done, I
could not find what was the line of the petal and what was the shadow in my drawing, so
I had to go petal from petal and try to find the actual forms - I must admit sometimes I
was swearing from frustration I could not find where petals met, that matched my petal
with the one on the photo... so it was not easy for me. But then when I started to put the

shadows in section by section, that helped and started to shape up. It is not perfect but
most if them match, more or less...I could not have done the whole thing freehand - I
might try later on just wanted to speed it up. When Mary said that she just sketched the
thing - it already looked like a perfect drawing, not a sketch! I cannot do that yet.
Ro, I'm so impressed with the work you've done on the patterns - I too recommend to fix
any drawing issues you've noticed now, and not later. In the next phase keep an eye
on subtle value shifts to give your pots some volume.
Ah Bernadette, wonderful diligence - just the way I like it - keep it up! There's
absolutely no reason to rush a beautiful painting, especially when the goal is learning. On
the dead layer it's particularly important to mark values as accurately as you can, and then
the color layer will be a piece of cake to handle.
Paul, your painting will be amazing, I can tell! Thank you for posting updates!
i cant paint with turps it makes me sick to my stomic and gives me headacks so this is my
recipy if you decid to ues this do not add any thing ells i ues linsseed 2 parts and 1 part
Liquen has almost no smell just that oily oder that linseed has vary light dont ever mix in
any damar in if your uesing Liquen or any other alkad base alked/Liquen/Glyked are
all patroleam based and damar is reson based they are not conpatibal with Patroleam sins
you all started with damar i think you mite be stuck untill you get done with this painting
you could try it but im not sure i have a friend that is a cemist in the art matireals industry
and all check with him but being that it is christmas Eve i may not be abal to get back to
you on that untill nexst week it will brobably be ok to paint on top if your layer if it is
vary dry so as not to remelt it with this liquen linseed mixsture iv seen a cuple of filmes
on YouTube were this artist wipes Lquin on here canvas then paints directly in to that but
on the side of the botel it says not to ues more thena 50% liquen ever so i stick to the 1/3
but i Liv in the mohovi desert and things dry here vary fast even with out it 10%
humidinty most of the time it makes a big diferince what the atmosphire in your home is
like cold= long slow drying times warm and dry= short fast drying times how ever dont
put you work near a heat sors like a vent or for hevens sake never get it any were near a
space heater or an open flame you will burn you house done
i just wanted to clarafy a cuple of points
the first thing is glazes take along time to dry becaus they are mostly mdeam this
is where the Liquen realy helps a glaze needs to be more then dry to the tuch it
nedds to be dry enough to be hard so the you new layers dont melt it there just
deleced that way
you can tell a glaze is dry enough when it dosint feel cool or have that feeling of
dampness that dry paint will have for quite a long time i find even with liquen it
takes at least a week in wet weather it can take up to a month some times if your
not uesing a sicicant ( Thats a drying agent like liquen)

the onon trick neds to be the first thing you do befor you oil out
so its onon wait a few mints then wipe it off then oil out your canvase alwas when
you are wiping the cerface ues a clean dry lint free cloth do not ues paper towls
they leave behind fiyber or tolet tisue
Ro the reson the onon smeard your work was that 24 hr is never enough time for a
glaze to dry the only sofens pain thats why you have to waite sorry i know its hard
to waite when your excited and want to get on with it

this bring up a good point about having at least 3 paintings going at one time so
you can alwas paint when you want to
so after you lay down your toning on the first you start the second drawing then
by the time you get the toning dont on that you start the umber layer of your fist
then wiale thats drying you do the umber on the second and then the drawing and
toning on the therd then you go back and check you forst and if its dry and doint
have that damp feel you start your gray layer i find the gray layer to be a kind of
stop and start aspect of this tehch becaus i often have to let it dry at point so i dont
put my hand or arm in wet paint so when you get to one of thos spots were you
ned to lay your havd or arm gently aganced the canvas but its wet go to the nexst
canvas and start that gray layer and so on and so forthen sorry for spelling that out
but i thought that mabe i hadent been clear so i wanted to make sure every one
was up to speed on this drying and how you work forwerd thing

i know we were just talking about painting and drying times but i wanted to jump
backwords for a second and retuch on this drawing aspect i cant stress enough
how inportent the drawing stage is many artits aproch painting as "Lets get this
drawing down fast and fureas and move on acting as if its relativly uniportent that
you wil form the more conpleat concept of the painting as you go along STOP!
this is bull how can you know where you are going if you dont have an idea in the
first place of were you are starting
the singal bigest reson paintings fail is that there artist had no clue as to what he
or she was doing and why is that becaus they dint do the preplaning necasary to
get a clear concept going from day one so again this is were looking at your suject
really comes in to play by taking this time to really look closly at are subject and
to clearly draw out its form we begain a prosses of acquainting are selvs what the
subject as we draw are understanding of the subject grows many times i find that
what i thought a subject was about in the first place was conpleatly wrong and i
dicoverd this by looking at it and drawing it out thers a process of dicovory that
one gose threw it can be exstrdanary it can reveal to us a chang in are aproch of a

suject in other words well have theas begining pitures in are heads of a painting
but as good as some of us are at vioulising are suject its never a conpleat picture
its a piece here and thers so again by taking the time to really look at your suject
that concept in are head becaome ever more real
and on a more practical leveal there are alwas things perticulerly in photos that
are exstreamly hard to interpret so as we go and look this updats this picture in are
head and gives us time to think lagicaly about what we are seeing and there in is
the opertonity to discard certin vioul aspects of a photo that are tricks of the
camra and then we can aply are logic to corecting theas tricks of the eye on the
canvas and in doing so you are creating super realsiem aprt from the camra and
more in the vin of real life theres going to be more on this at a later time
Paul ok heres what i did today im not all that happy i had to mix up more colors
as it takes a bunch to do a pating this size and i got this idea to add a bit of blue
but forgot how strong Ultra B is so my colors are a bit off but im thinking it want
mater in the final pating aslow this guy on the left isisnt as musculer as the on the
right so it looks a bit difrent to me but hay it is what it is

I think I'm finally done with the grey layer - it was a bit easier than the umber due to the
familiarity with the petals :-) but I still took my sweet time. It look most blueish in
reality. I let it dry now. I must admit that when I was ready for the layer, I didn't have any
onion as I used all of it for the Xmas cooking and the shops were closed! So I just did the
oiling out part and will do the onion next.
How is everyone doing? Did you all gain a few pounds/kilos and ate yourself to bits (as I

Detti, The small rose bud on the bottom right (((ha ha- that would be my other
right)))) ON THE LEFT. - I can not tell what it is doing. When I checked the
original reference photo I see it is a smaller bud with some individual petals
showing some edge-flip. I really think you need to identify each petal in the gray
layer on that one as well as you did on the big rose and the bud on the right. I
know you said you had a little trouble with it, but you have had a rest now so look
at it again. I actaull went, "Oh, WOW" when the pic opened up. Very nice job
you have going on here. The sky looks just perfect! P.S. One of the tricks I
learned in the RT Brain book was to lay a glass on top of the photo and trace it
with a fine line perm.felt tip pen. Now lay the glass on white paper to show up
the drawing. You have turned the image into a 1D pic instead of a 3D. Now just
draw the lines as they appear on the glass. Works great.

MICHELLE, sorry for the tummy upset - ick! I have decided to continue on the glazes to
darken the background to the value I want it to be so I added another atmospheric glaze
of paynes gray. My idea is to put every color on the pots as a glaze on the background
until it is as dark as I want. Just as I expected, as I change the value (darkenss) of the
background it is messing with the values on the pots too. ////

Mad Capt said........

You want to keep your light areas light in every layer of your painting to the
Ro: you must paint every hair in your fur thing EXACTLY as it really is.
*PANIC!* Nah, just kidding. Notice how many different shades of bluishgrey there are. Those shades are going to determine how real your rabbit fur
looks. Also on the wine jug on the right. Make a VERY light blue or umber
undercoat, it should be just a tiny bit darker than pure white. In your following
layers...umber and grey...leaves those areas white as in the undercoat. Later,
this should give your painting depth. Than when you are ready for color, add
a touch of ultramarine blue to your white. Use raw umber, light greys, and
ultramarine blue glazes for your shadows When you are satisfied with your
shadowing, use pure titanium white for your whitest areas. Add a bit of
"fuzziness" on the edges. all of this for LAST. It will be really
frustrating to get color in your whiter than white rabbit fur.
So, I keep thinking lots of thoughts in my mind as I try to pay attention to all of
your comments to figure out what I need to think-do next. I truly appreciate
all your helpful ideas. Ro

Hello, I worked on my rose a bit more (on the grey-blue layer).

Ro, now the bottom rose is doing something :-) I magnified the original so I could make
sense out of the petals.
Ro: I would do a trial fur on a small area first, roughly, with the colors that are mentioned
by Mad Capt.
I hope everyone is doing all

ts like the famed and exsotic blue rose of India talked about in the 1001 Arabian Nights
vary lovely indead
wht is your top layer Pallette going to be with the blueish underpating its going to cool
your uperlayers down sugnifecently wihich could be good or bad depending on what you
were going for a Red with a cool undier pining of blue or a fucha mite be really exsotic
and spicy :-)
Dam - what is a fucha? I tried to look it up or words similar but didn't find anything. And
as you mentioned regarding the upper layer, it is important.
Well, to be honest, it was not a predetermined idea of making it all blue. As it happened, I
put blue in the gray underpainting and I liked it so much that the whole flower became
blue. I love the color of blue, as well as little purple-ish colors, so I guess I just followed
that feeling :-)

What would you suggest for the palette? I was going for something similar to what Mary
did but with the underpainting this might change.
Paul: Red roses? Nah, they dont exist!
Bernadett: I think if you are already on the blue kick, stay with it! What darkened
your darker areas with say a deep Prussian blue, and glazed (another important
Renaissance technique) your lighter areas with an aquamarine. And finally accenting with
titanium white with a touch of blue or even straight white?
Mad Capt - this is a very tempting idea. I actually used prussian blue, a little burnt umber
and white for the dark areas with the turp/oil/dammar mix. I'm thinking making it either
purple-ish, or make it a really nice blue - if not red (that don't exist anyway...). As I did
not position is very well (too low and there is a big area around it), Ro suggested to just
paint some roses
inucha sorry im not the best spellers as im sure you have guesed by now but im farly sure
thats spelled right but its not in the data base of my spell checker its a pinkish purple
colore vary close to PeptoBismal vary hot colore marrys Rose has some in it its that
hotest mid tone pink she uesed kinda you know how color is a thing of perceptions so
mabe its not exsactly Fucha o and by the way its alsow the name of a type of flower
grown in the southen US the area, not detailed but just so it looks like a garden of some
U mean Fuschia i guess
Hi, I hope you don't mind me intruding yet again,....I was about to add that the colour you
mention is known as Fuchsia, here in UK,...and yes, the plants grow in gardens here.

I didn't join your 'group' as such, at

the very beginning, because, personally, I have no inclination to follow the renaisance
methods again. I did this some 25 years ago, and shall post my version of the Mona Lisa,
simply to verify my interest all that time ago, and that I practiced the methods.
This is not to say that I don't enjoy following your posts, and seeing your works, I hope
you don't mind me doing this. I still admire this era of art.
What has come to mind in following you all here, I don't remember anyone mentioning
the fact that most artists in those days mixed their own paints, from raw pigments, ...
I wonder how they would compare with the modern day 'ready made' colours, and even
whether the methods they used would work with today's colours?.
Most had their own 'secret' mix, and I do wonder if some of the 'glow' and 'magic'
colours in their paintings is as much to do with actual colours / pigments used, as to do
with their method of painting. - Just a thought.
Anyway, my version of the Mona Lisa, by Leonardo Da Vinci. Took me 6 months to
complete. I did a first umber drawing of the picture, no grey layer. Then layed in the
major coloured areas with suitably mixed colours, and did refinements by glazing. Much
glazing! - Hence 6 months, which was mainly 'drying time'. No thinners or any modern
mediums were used, just 'oil' to varying degrees.

The picture has never been framed, too dark for my house, and I truly don't want to look
at it every day of my life. It was purely an excersise.......Though I was asked to do a
second one, .....also took around 6 months, which was sold as a commission, the person's
own request. I obviously supplied paperwork stating that it was 'after' Da Vinci, and was
in no way intended to be taken as the 'real thing' .....I don't think it would take much
investigation to prove that it wasn't! :-)
My version of Mona Lisa, after Da Vinci.........
Liz: I mentioned about mixing pigments...I did I did! That was an integral part of the
apprentices learning process, besides drawing still-lifes, learning proportion, and cleaning
out the masters potty bucket and other nasty stuff. Apparently, the earlier paints were
"stringier" (longer, as they now say) which might have made opaques a bit harder to
handle. We just did a cathedral tour in Antwerp (I live near by) and in the St. James
where he and his family are buried, there was a Rubens masterpiece, "Our Lady, the
Christ Child and Saints" leaning against the wall on the floor, so I got to stick my nose
against the canvas and study some of his methods. The whites did look stringy, but
because the paint might have been thicker, they were able to use subtle "impastos" to
give a 3D effect. Maybe a hint at the secrets!
Finished, e finito, done! Gray layer on the gypsy is finally done. I havnt put her
jewelry in yet, figured the really fine details need to go in last. Did a glaze on her
cloak of scarlet and cad red too. Am quite excited about how she's coming on.
Unfortunatly I didnt get my SLR camera for chrissy so the old 'point and shoot'
leaves a bit to be desired in photographing her. the light on the background is
reflected light, the background is really quite

Michelle, Good work. I was thinking her cheeks were not quite right, but could
not exactly decide why. I put the original and your gray layer in Photoshop,
removed the color, and posterized to 9 values. I think now I understand. On the
original the changes in values run up and down on the face where as your values
are changing and running side to side. Your areas are larger so that makes her
cheek on HER right appear flat. On both sides of her cheeks the face appears to
be wide, and I think that is caused by not indicating the different planes as the
face "turnes" and goes around to the side. Remember how Mary drew the pencil
sketch of the bride? She indicated different "planes". I put in your gray layer and
the original photos for you to compare. /// Another thing I noticed is the top lip is
outlined. On the original the only hard line is the "dip" under the nose (as best I
could tell anyway). /// Having no experience yet with this technique, I dont know
how much needs to be perfect on the gray layer and how much can be softened in
the color layer. This is just what I was seeing. /// The hair and material look
really good!

OK, I went back and fiddled with the tonal values on her face and re-did her
mouth. I know her eyes are different, but I really wanted them that way, the
original looks 'defeated' to me, not at all as I would expect a gypsy to look. So I
want mine to have more of a sort of proud 'you are sooooo lucky to have me pose
for you' look! :D
Anyway, please take a look guys and let me know what you think, I really
appreaciate your running a 'new eye' over it and thanks Ro for the critique, it
helped heaps.

look much mor life like now

one mine thing but i think its inportent on left side of here mouth you have her lips
ending in a strat line and in the photo it slitly curvs down this is how most lips are in
realy life as the uper mucles of the mouth hers a diagram to show you what im talking
about they curve around the out side edge of the lips creating that slite downwerd curve
this is inportent as sutal as it may seem becus this slite crving down of the outer corners
of the mouth as im sure you already know is a strong indavatore of exspresion as the
corners of the mouth put down or back can denot joy or sadnes if they move strate
outwerd tords the sids of the face this indacats a persing of the lips wich can mean a sort
of worryed or angry exspretion the keys to exspretion in the face are exstreamly sutal but
we humans have developed over 10s of thousands of years an ability to pickup on the
most sutal of cules to help us read are aponents actions preeptivly make sens? again this
downwerd curv is sutal and some times a chang of only a milamiter of two can make the
face apore conpleatly difrent unfotunatly we are working with sycolagy here as much as
with art its all part of the portrait pinters job