A quick question on underpaintings, mediums, and paint consistency
I'm working on a few large scale images that are going to take a good amount of time to complete, so I'm going to be painting them indirectly, with monochrome underpaintings followed by several layers of color, with varying transparency.
I'm fairly familiar with the general rule of fat over lean. However, I'm a little muddled as to how I need to apply this rule to the method of painting that I've found myself comfortable with. Allow me to explain.
I've found that as I begin a painting, and at some stages down the road, I like painting really, really thin. For putting down that initial drawing my preference is to work with real soupy paint that's easy to pull off the canvas, and I really like the quality of mark you can get starting a painting this way. Furthermore, when I go back to dried layers, I usual prefer to wash a transparent general color over an area and then work into it with paint of varying thickness. Now, from what I've heard about thinning paint and cracking, etc. I am led to believe that this method of painting will lead to trouble, however I have seen other artists do it, so I'm hoping that it's just a matter of what mediums you choose to use when mixing down your paint. So now for my questions...
1. On this initial drawing, is it a real bad idea to thin the paint down with medium as opposed to turpentine? I like the consistency you get with medium more than that of turpentine, however this would mean that the very first layer of paint is largely medium, and should go over the painting LAST, right? By the way, the medium I'm using is a turp/stand oil mixture, about 4:1 or so.
2. I've pretty much avoided using straight turpentine to thin paint altogether, and so the color washes I lay over older layers are thinned with medium, which I paint into with thicker paint as desired - is this going to give me trouble?
3. Though I'm familiar with the rule of fat over lean, I still don't think I understand it fully. I know that plenty of paintings are painted in multiple sessions, and they seem to have aged pretty well, yet it's also apparent that the paint consistency is fairly thin. I've heard of artists glazing down and then painting up a piece up to dozens of times, are their glazes getting thinner and thinner with each progressive attack, are they using different mediums, or am I just fretting over nothing?
That's about the extent of my questions, I'll make sure to post these things when their done as payment for any help I receive. Thanks guys!
"You're not going crazy, Arthur! You're going sane in a crazy world!" - The Tick