Sanguine Drawings.

 

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Aran Island Horse

Aran Horse

Back in October, my wife an I traveled back to Ireland. We took a zillion reference photos in hopes that I would be able to eek out a few paintings. Here’s the first of, hopefully, many more! This guy lives on the island of Inis MórIf you are on a walk to Dún Aonghasa, you may very well encounter this guy as he eats his hay hanging from the blackberries at a break in the rock wall.  This painting is relatively small (8×10). Oil on Carton.

Messing around with sanguine Part 3

I’ve gotten a few folks asking about how I get such neat little sticks for my lead holders, so I’ve decided to post photos of the process I use. First, I grind up the broken bits of natural sanguine. I’ve found that the consistency is usually fine without adding any binders or chalk if I am using mostly the natural clay. If I add any iron oxide pigment to the mix, I will add some tragacanth gum and a bit of kaolin clay to give it a nice texture. After getting it all powdery, I sift it onto a piece of glass. Then I add distilled water and mix it with a knife until it is the consistency you see in the photos. I then load it into a children’s Tylenol syringe that I cut the tip of of with a razor blade. After loading and carefully squeezing out any trapped air, I extrude lines of the mixture onto a cardboard or other absorbent surface to dry. I prefer extruding to rolling because I am able to control the consistency better.

In this case, I decided to use a food dehydrator to speed up the drying a bit. It worked quite well, I think. I’ve done this before by cutting each into uniform segments that are cut at a 45 degree angle so that they are sharp and ready for drawing right away. That worked really well also. I hope this helps! All the best.20180211_09555320180211_09563320180211_09560220180211_09574620180211_09554020180211_13474820180211_134800

 

 

Pet Portrait Process

I thought I’d post a bit of my process for painting a portrait in oils. Or, at least, a step-by-step guide to my basic stages.

Stage 1ish: The drawing and toning.

I usually draw my composition directly on the panel or canvas. I tone the board with a careful brushing of matte medium , then matte medium toned with burnt umber. This time, because of all the hair, I scratched and rubbed out areas that would be highlights or heightened.  I figured that would help me in the long run. I was sort of right…

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Step 2ish: Block in render to umber/ultramarine shadows. 

There is a step missing before this. I blocked in the color using glazes so that the umber lent it’s warm tone to everything. Then-Using one of those handy hair/grass brushes you see in the art supply store, I went to town on the hair.

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Step 3: Fluffing up the hair/ more rendering. 

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Step 4: More shadows, more hair, and I’m seeing stars.

I went tighter on the face, deepened the shadows to obscure edges, and casually messed around.

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Step 5: More shadows and more hair.

I wasn’t happy with the hair yet, so a combination of lights and darks as well as falling back into the original hair pattern helped get it back on track. No more messing about!

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Face detail after loads or rendering.

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Step 6: The final leg.

This is where I tool about; making sure my values are in balance. I found this board to be poorly prepared- the surface was too rough for finer details, but I did what I could.

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Finished???

I’ll keep it in the studio for another month, messing around with it as I see fit. More or less, I see it as finished. After all- My name is now on it! 😉

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