As you have probably noticed my working method has changed slightly in recent paintings. I’m applying a layer of unmixed paint as a ‘wash’ using White Spirits. I did this when I was using standard oils and it was not very successful as this ‘dry’ layer would readily mix with subsequent paint layers. In an effort to reduce this mixing I would use a hair dryer to evaporate the solvent before proceeding with the next layers. The intention was to leave some of the unmixed paint peeping through the covering colour to give a texture and a richness to the colours. Apart from the obvious dangers (fire, fumes) the process was difficult to control with the upper layers of paint tending to flood the dry under layer. I felt that the paint, even directly from the tube, without the addition of solvent or medium, was too oily to control this delicate procedure.
Alkyd colours are a different matter entirely. The layer applied with solvent does resist the later layers added on top. Although I’m using Alkyd throughout the entire painting, if you like underpainting in a flat colour and allowing it to dry before the next layers are added, do consider using Alkyd colours as your underpainting. Alkyd is compatible with standard oils and a solvent underpainting will be completely dry in less than 24 hours. I know some painters use Acrylic as an underpainting and this seems to be OK, but its water based and that always bothered me. One time it was considered a bad idea to allow the canvas primed for oils to become wet as it was thought it might loosen the water based glue-size which was used to seal the canvas before the primer was applied. I know modern canvas is no longer prepared in this way, but its still a worry.
This is another 3 colour painting. I put some black on the palette but didn’t actually use any. So its 3 colours, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber and Prussian Blue plus white. As with the last painting I used a single round brush (No. 12) to paint the bulk of the painting. The fine lines were painted with a very small (00) nylon brush.
I will post the video of the painting process in a few days. See you then.