My painting students at Glasscock School for Continuing Studies at Rice University are well on their way to starting color on their paintings. They’ve just about finished their tonal underpaintings (raw umber or burnt sienna). Once the underpaintings are mapped out with correct values and drawings, they’ll begin creating a chart for a limited color palette. This will help maintain some simplicity while painting in color. Art history is very helpful at this point since we know Vermeer had a very different and more earthy palette than some of the early 20th century painters who had access to more inexpensive and accessible pigments such as ultramarine blue. We’re off school next week. I can’t wait to see everyone’s homework!
I adore my Narrative Portrait painters (I love ALL of my students, but I get to let my freak flag fly high with this particular group.) It’s no secret that I’m always trying to impress them with awesome models to work from. Tonight, they photographed a fire dancer. I’m not quite sure how I can get more impressive than a fire dancer. Maybe an acting troupe? A rock band? It’s going to be tough... I can’t wait to see their paintings from this photo session! 💖
My Glasscock @Rice U. students are rockstars! In less than two hours tonight, they managed to nearly complete their tonal underpaintings. This is their first exercise toward creating a copy from a selection of paintings by various artists (mainly from the 19th and early 20th centuries). Next week, they’ll all start working in color. All student work in this class is created in acrylic paints. One of the most exciting parts for me is that several students have never picked up a paintbrush before. Below are photos of their hard work. #ProudTeacher
Glasscock StUdent work:
My demo so far:
My Glasscock students are working on tonal underpaintings, so I thought I’d crank up my new favorite singer, LP, and make a time-lapse demo to share with everyone.
This is an early stage of indirect painting (painting in layers), when corrections of values are made. Prior to this stage I transferred the drawing.
I prefer to work from dark to light values, and from the background to the foreground. I also work big to small and fast to slow. Details are absolutely last (if they even exist in at this stage at all). All edges are left soft. It's much easier to harden an edge than to soften it during the painting process.
I used Rublev’s Italian Burnt Sienna oil paint for my color and thinned it with odorless mineral spirits to get a variety of values. The darkest value is the mass tone, which refers the darkest a pigment can be coming from the tube.
Acrylic Painters can modify this exact process using paint and water.
Colors I often use for tonal underpainting include both Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber.
BTW, I used 3 brushes on this painting. Two were hogshair and my round brush was synthetic.
Now, it’s your turn! Go make something! Or, if you're one of my students, do your homework! :)
You've found my new website. Yay!
I'm organizing new solo adventures. Not only will I continue teaching painting and drawing classes, I'll also be creating new artwork on a solo journey, which I'll share along the way.
If you're impatient and don't feel like waiting for my sometimes erratic posts, feel free to visit me on Instagram @LauraMakesArt
I will likely be posting a mish-mash of teaching, videos and process on this blog. If you miss my previous blog, you can still visit it HERE.
Some of you know how much I love the chemistry behind painting. That can only be attributed to my former mentor Tad Spurgeon. He helped me transition from body painting and photography into oil painting on casts from the human figure. There's a lot of chemistry involved in all aspects of this work. This body of work (no pun intended) ended up with the title, Museum Anatomy - Heist.
My favorite blog posts of all time were the emailed conversations I kept with Tad for a year, which I lightly edited and posted online for all to see and learn from. I've come a LONG way since these days. This year, I was honored with a "Featured Artist" post on the Natural Pigments website. It's amazing how much you can accomplish by continuing to read and practice and read and practice... The information on oil painting never ends, it merely unravels. Here's my early attempts at learning with my very patient teacher, Tad Spurgeon.
If you're an oil painter, I highly recommend Tad's book. It's the book on my art studio shelf with the most dog-eared pages. Here's a link to "The Living Craft".
That's all for now. Please come back and visit, or follow my feed. I have no idea what an RSS feed is, but I have a feeling I'm about to find out. I look forward to adding educational content and further explanations about what's going on in my classrooms on this blog too! Get ready, it's going to be fun!