Thursday, September 22, 2011

Glazed over

I've been painting more, sketching less lately (as well as painting the backdrop for our local primary school's annual concert again, many years after my children left there and grew up) so another long absence here - I attended the final session of Greg Kerr's course I posted about here, last week after missing the third one while on my travels. This was about learning how to glaze with oil paints - the images gleaned from our original source material - mine being on 12"x12" canvases, my ladies with umbrella, black and white cow, wooden fence and seed pod, which I changed from a honey-locust to a jacaranda - an attempt at iconography, but too hard and complicated to explain!
One panel started with a bolus, or red oxide ground, the layers of warm and cool colours built up slowly and patiently, drying well between each one (hard for somebody used to instant results with pen and watercolour)
One on a white ground, where the layers produced much more brilliantly coloured results, and took a lot longer to get to neutral shades and depth of tone.
 And on a green ground, which produced different results again of the layers of transparent colour - we were to lift out areas from each glaze to preserve colours we wanted to keep. The white crayon outline of the original drawing ended up as the 'radioactive' glow around the cow.
We finished the paintings off by adding veils of pure colour, and lastly, very sparingly, white. They are very dark, shiny (because of the Liquin used as medium) little paintings, hard to photograph, and I don't know if I would paint like this as a rule, but I'm very happy to know how to do it.
We worked on our three acrylic paintings too with oil glazes, tying them together as a triptych, lifting and knocking back, and I learnt another blending technique with the fan brush, which I've never quite known what to do with, to get a highly polished looking finish - still thinking about those. I feel, at last, as though I'm getting to know exactly what to do with the wonderful 40th birthday present my husband gave me mphwmph years ago of a bunch of oil paints, canvases and brushes!


benjamin j said...

Wow, I must say I'm new to your paintings, i have always loved your figures in your sketches and now I see your incredibly tallented. I've always wNted to pick up oil painting but I am so what fearful. Any advice for a novice? Also is there anywhere a person can go about buying some of your work? Thanks


Poor In Java said...

Wow. This is incredible. I will be honest. At first I thought you painted this on computer as in like a Digital Art but when I read through, wow was what came out of my mouth.
How do you talented folks do such an exquisite work?
Some lessons please :)

Marie Theron said...

Your excellent draughtmanship shines through the paintings, Cathy. I think I would have known the people were yours, as your acute observation was still at work here. I love the experiments and am delighted with the neon umbrella effect!

Desiree's Designs said...

Cathy, these turned out amazing! Great job, I also thought as I was reading that I don't know if I have the patience to paint like this although I love your results!
Thanks for sharing!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks for sharing these new technique paintings :) I like the theme - which says city sisters visit the farm :) Look at their dress and their heels? ha ha Love it!

Ileta said...

Strange technique but very cool results! It suits the surreal theme!

Cathy Gatland said...

Hi Benjamin - if you can find a good teacher whose work you admire, with perhaps a recommendation from someone who has been to their classes, I think its the quickest way to get into oil painting, possibly saving years of trial and many errors. Or else 'just do it' - get a cool and a warm of red,yellow,blue, black and white and just start... I think a website like Wet Canvas can be helpful to beginners - its a long long journey, so the sooner you start, the better. I am not yet organised to sell paintings, but am working on it!

Poor in Java, thanks - its years of the above, and I still feel I've only just begun!

Hello Marie, you are so kind, thank you - I was quite surprised by the neon effect too, never really knew how anything was going to end up :)

Thank you Desiree! and Rhonda - one of the things I really enjoyed about this project was the strange and fairly random juxtaposition of elements. No deep meanings or angst, just arranging figures, animals, fences etc., and painting them in different ways

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Just trolled through your oil painting link from the lovely ladies with umbrellas, flowers, buildings, the wonderful 2 year old painting of your son, other figures, and so much more. WONDERFUL. What talent you have with your magnificent urban sketches and these oil works too.