Old Masters Technique
Preparation and Layering is Key
For portraiture, over a charcoal sketch, I apply a thin layer of burnt sienna acrylic or oil paint which provides underlying warmth below the subsequent monochrome grey scale, a grisaille creates more form in the face. Next, blocking in the hair involves using burnt sienna, raw umber and yellow ochre light oil paints with a very thin medium.
Several glazes of colour are applied over the grisaille face. A range of suitable tones for forehead, cheeks, chin and shadow are mixed from the Zorn palette, and then applied thinly to ensure that the shadows and form of the face structure remain evident underneath the colour glaze. The hair also receives more glazing and some detail using brush techniques.
The costumes' silken fabric texture, light reflections, fit, folds and subsequent colour variations are created using a wide paintbrush and a variety of oil paints and medium.
The ingenuity of a portrait and it's lifelike qualities depend on the optical illusion which the transparent layers of oils provide as they build up.
Sparingly applied titanium white glazes highlight the face further. Final details and touches to the entire composition are then addressed for example the detailed jewellery and ruffs.
Landscape and Nature
For landscapes and backgrounds I use a large variety of colours enabling an impression of long distance to be achieved, particularly Cerulean Blue as a light hue for far away, along with light Sap Green and light Permanent Green. Landscape closer to the subject requires that the colour begin to appear more saturated, Viridian Green, darker Sap Green and greens mixed with a touch of Cadmium Yellow light achieve this. Titanium White provides final touches which offer dazzle in the sunlight.