My

 

A few years back, I drew this sketch of my husband, Dafydd. It was a fair likeness and I did not want to ink it, and spoil the soft effect. So it sat in my folder for a few years.
Recently there has been a spate of documentaries on 'the Masters' such as Durer, Da Vinci, Michaelangelo (and others) ...
Suddenly the urge to try oil paints hit me. I had never really been interested in oils before. I have dabbled in guache, watercolour and spent most of my time doing ink drawings.

I bought some oils from an art store, trying to keep to 'period' colours and pulled out this picture. I would paint my beloved as my first project.

This left me looking at a crash course in oil painting. This link will take you to some of my research. I had both Ceninni's Il Libro dell'Arte and Theophillus's On Divers Arts. Both of which give contemporary treatises on oil painting in the medieval and renaissance period. Having done research in renaissance drawing, I had an idea of the painting's initial sketch (cartoons) drawn, pricked and transferred for painting in frescoes. These were often done on paper (made of linen, at the time).

Far left is me pricking a copy of my original drawing

Left: ready to be transferred to the canvas with red chalk (I used pastels as I had them).

Right - the picture traced onto the canvas.

In the 1500's and 1600's, it was more usual to paint on wooden boards. As this was my first painting I decided to use (again) to use what I had on hand. Some stretched canvases I had been given.

Left is a copy of Michaelangelo's Madonna & Child wth St John. (Complete Guide).
This unfinished work gives us an example of how some artists did their underpainting. The skin areas were underpainted by terra verte (earth green) to provide neutral mid tone over which shadows and highlights could be painted. The robe area shows how shadows could be made with underpainting. Venetians worked off a red background, probably a form of tempera underpainting. (including Titian, Tintoretto.)

I am researching further into the underpainting of oil portraits and playing with the oil paint to see how it handles. Then onto the real thing....

Bibliography

  • Ames-Lewis, Francis. Drawing in Early Renaissance. Yale University. London. 1981. ISBN not available.
  • Thompson, Daniel V Jr. (translator). The Craftsman's Handbook 'Il Libro dell'Arte' Dover Publications. NY. 1960. ISBN: 486-20054-X
  • Hawthorne, John G & Smith, Cyril Stanley (translators). Theophilus On Divers Arts. Dover Publications. 1979. ISBN: 0-486-23784-2
  • Blake, Wendon. The Complete Painting Course. Bonanza Books. NY. 1984. ISBN. 0-517-456923
  • Hayes, Colin. The Complete Guide to Painting and Drawing Techniques and Materials. Guild Publishing, London. 1978. ISBN: not available.
  • Making Masterpieces. BBC productions. British Museum.
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A few years back, I drew this sketch of my husband, Dafydd. It was a fair likeness and I did not want to ink it, and spoil the soft effect. So it sat in my folder for a few years.
Recently there has been a spate of documentaries on 'the Masters' such as Durer, Da Vinci, Michaelangelo (and others) ...
Suddenly the urge to try oil paints hit me. I had never really been interested in oils before. I have dabbled in guache, watercolour and spent most of my time doing ink drawings.

I bought some oils from an art store, trying to keep to 'period' colours and pulled out this picture. I would paint my beloved as my first project.

This left me looking at a crash course in oil painting. This link will take you to some of my research. I had both Ceninni's Il Libro dell'Arte and Theophillus's On Divers Arts. Both of which give contemporary treatises on oil painting in the medieval and renaissance period. Having done research in renaissance drawing, I had an idea of the painting's initial sketch (cartoons) drawn, pricked and transferred for painting in frescoes. These were often done on paper (made of linen, at the time).

Far left is me pricking a copy of my original drawing

Left: ready to be transferred to the canvas with red chalk (I used pastels as I had them).

Right - the picture traced onto the canvas.

In the 1500's and 1600's, it was more usual to paint on wooden boards. As this was my first painting I decided to use (again) to use what I had on hand. Some stretched canvases I had been given.

Left is a copy of Michaelangelo's Madonna & Child wth St John. (Complete Guide).
This unfinished work gives us an example of how some artists did their underpainting. The skin areas were underpainted by terra verte (earth green) to provide neutral mid tone over which shadows and highlights could be painted. The robe area shows how shadows could be made with underpainting. Venetians worked off a red background, probably a form of tempera underpainting. (including Titian, Tintoretto.)

I am researching further into the underpainting of oil portraits and playing with the oil paint to see how it handles. Then onto the real thing....

Bibliography

  • Ames-Lewis, Francis. Drawing in Early Renaissance. Yale University. London. 1981. ISBN not available.
  • Thompson, Daniel V Jr. (translator). The Craftsman's Handbook 'Il Libro dell'Arte' Dover Publications. NY. 1960. ISBN: 486-20054-X
  • Hawthorne, John G & Smith, Cyril Stanley (translators). Theophilus On Divers Arts. Dover Publications. 1979. ISBN: 0-486-23784-2
  • Blake, Wendon. The Complete Painting Course. Bonanza Books. NY. 1984. ISBN. 0-517-456923
  • Hayes, Colin. The Complete Guide to Painting and Drawing Techniques and Materials. Guild Publishing, London. 1978. ISBN: not available.
  • Making Masterpieces. BBC productions. British Museum.