This painting is approx. 14″ x 12″. Not large in this era of gigantic works. I think ‘large’ is in fashion at the moment, if paintings as wall hangings in modern homes is an indicator of fashion. In traditional oil painting ‘going large’ is a scaling up of what was working at smaller sizes. This for me meant using larger brushes and regularly standing back and viewing the work from a distance, as the final work will be. In other words the brush stroke a quarter of an inch wide was now a half an inch wide and from a distance, relative to the picture area, the effect was similar.
This is not working with this very wet solvent method of painting. For a start the painting is flat on a table top and unless I climb a ladder to the ceiling and look down I can’t get back far enough to view the overall painting. Lighting causing reflections from the pools of solvent on the surface also is an issue. Large volumes of solvent take large periods of time to evaporate, so the whole process is grinding to a halt as I wait to apply the next layer of paint. The long and the short of it is this – the method is workable only on small paintings. The painting here is probably the largest convenient size for this method.
As you probably can guess, I’m painting a large picture at the moment 24″ x 20″. Large in that it is nearly four times the area of this painting here. This factor of four can be applied to the time spent painting and waiting. After four hours I’m only in the initial stages. Stopping work for the day means on the following day the paint is neither wet nor dry, further disrupting the method.
I intend to finish the work. The current layers will have to dry completely. This will take three days with the present weather. Then the entire surface will have to be oiled out to return the tones to their original values. From then on the process is as normal. More anon.
In the meantime have a look at the painting process for this piece.