I like suggested detail, as in the group of workers in this painting. The saying ‘less is more’ really does apply here. It seems to work best for me in ‘alla prima’ painting. In this painting the strip of dark brown (Burnt Sienna and Prussian Blue) which ran across the painting, just below the horizon line, was manipulated into various shapes with a painting knife. This produced random shapes, some of which were later added to to produce the figures. It was almost like looking for the figures in the jumble of shapes and by adding a spot of colour for a head, for example, a person emerged. Where a person was required and no shape existed, the lightest of strokes were placed. The format of how these strokes are applied should be dictated by the other ‘random’ marks so as not to have the figures ‘out of sync’. It requires practise and an opportunistic eye for potential details. Its a bit haphazard and can go terribly wrong, requiring repair work in the form of scraping off the misplaced paint and starting again. For a beginner, letting the layer dry and adding the paint onto the dry layer is a possibility, as any corrections can be made by wiping off the fresh paint as opposed to scraping off everything. This is one of the advantages of oil painting which makes it an excellent medium for beginners.
I did not use Liquin in this painting. So the handling was more difficult with Linseed Oil only. For example, even a heavy layer of paint, with Liquin, begins to get ‘tacky’ shortly after its applied. If the paint is agitated, as in the blending of the sky colours, it can get almost ‘sticky’ allowing fine details to be painted on top. It almost drags the paint off the brush. With a Linseed Oil mix the brush picks up the colour rather than laying it down. So you will see me scraping the shapes into the sky to remove the paint before I apply the colour for the shed and the trees. If you are interested in this subject check the last few posts and the ‘For the absolute beginner, part 3‘ page.
Here’s the video.