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 Lacy, Oil, 22 x 28”


Before I start a painting I do quite a bit of preliminary work.  There are pencil thumbnails to explore design possibilities, a quick sketch from life and often a small color study to show the design and concept to the client. I also have a lot of written notes.  Throughout the process of painting, I refer back to all the preliminary work to assure that I am still on target with the painting.


Step One 

Drawing with Line/Detail

My subject is sketched in charcoal on a toned canvas. The charcoal disappears as I draw on top of it with thinned paint. This sketch becomes a general indication of proportion, size and placement.  


Step Two

Massing in Values

I quickly establish major shapes and value relationships with paint thinned with Gamsol. The color is a neutral mixed from the three primaries without the addition of white. This step gives me a quick look at the overall design of the painting.


Step Three

Blocking in Color

My goal is to cover the entire canvas in order to establish the color-value relationship and to get the total effect quickly. The paint at this stage is not applied very thickly.  No solvent or medium is used.


Step Four


At this stage, I am starting to develop form, and colors begin to echo. I find that a tone from the background is the perfect value for a transition on the hand, and a warm halftone in the hair works as reflected light on the fingers. I continue to work adding thicker paint.


Detail of finish

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