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Thread: Wet on Wet oils

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    Wet on Wet oils

    hey guys ive been using oils for a little while now, and im fairly decent if i get to do wet on dry paint and get to draw things out first, but im the worlds worst if im doing wet on wet and worse if i cant draw it out either, just asking if any of you know of some instructional video on the subject, or just some pointers and advice. Thanks guys i appreciate it


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    It kind of depends on what you're after I think. Can you describe or post a few examples of your work?

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    Coro's alla prima video is well worth the money. http://media.massiveblack.com/downloads.html#coro_alla

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    im really all about the traditional, so greek sculpture, renaissance and baroque painting are my focuses, and ive been trying to do things slowly and with detail but i need to find a quicker way to go about things. really my favorite painter at the moment is mr rubens, which obviously its near impossible to paint like him, thats the style id like to mimic. does that answer your question jeff?

    D.O thanks for the link and advice, id definitely invest if i could but unfortunately im pretty stripped of cash at the moment. do you happen to know of any good free tutuorials or places i can get tips?

    ill start posting a couple of the sketches ive done guys once i get a couple more done

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    Yeah - that totally puts it into focus - and good for you for setting the bar high! Don't short yourself though - Rubens was only a man - you can paint like him (or at least head there) and eventually you will be painting like "Greg Young: Modern Baroque Master".

    I'm familiar with Rubens but not so much on his particular approach - study what he and his contemporaries were doing from a technical standpoint and that will give you the direction to follow. Then try to find tutorials and techniques that follow that approach. I suspect it is a lot of careful life study, composition development, color studies, etc. then careful execution of a full master painting. In most cases the final painting we all know from art history is simply the culmination of a lengthy development process starting from the concept and explored through small composition, value, color and anatomy studies - it is the tip of the iceberg so to speak. The finished piece is the pinnacle and it is only as high as the foundation or base of the mountain.

    Just be aware that the art period/style you like is not developed "quickly". The shortest route to being able to work in that manner is through drawing and painting from life - that's what they did.

    Hope that helps!

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    yes very helpful thanks! i know some of the traditional methods, but of course not enough of them. i try to use them but they take too long for my teachers' tastes so theyre having me try some quicker approaches, just trying to get some info on the quicker approaches too ya know? haha thanks jeff!

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    I paint all my work Alla Prima (in one sitting ) and the biggest problem people have is laying down the paint. You really want the first passages thnned with turp so you're just staining the canvas then add a little linseed or medium in the second layer and load your brush with more paint. In the late stages after a blockin it is important to keep a layer of paint between the bristles of the brush and the surface of the canvas, if you push into the earlier layers you will get mud. As for speeding up technique, You could paint with liquin as your medium directly or why not do a grisaille with liquin and then glaze color with liquin after the grisaille dries? If you are able to do each stage in a day, they would be dry the next with the liquin.

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    thanks dpaint very helpful, im curious u mentioned the use of turpentine medium and linseed oil as pertaining to the layers, but what do you actually do specifically in each layer? do you lay down a base coat first of just paint, or a quick sketch, etc. Thanks fotr the help! ill definitely try the liquin once i can get some

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    Check out Richard Schmid for sure - I would say that his work may interest you - not exactly lush, romantic, baroque but certainly very direct and as accurate as you can get. Plus he has a lot of solid DVD demos around. His book: "Alla Prima" is one of the best books out there about painting. You may like to try some "grisaille" painting - the monochromatic portraits in my traditional album are "grisaille" and maybe 1.5 - 2 hours.
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/album.php?albumid=1714

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    The turp in the first layer is to thin the paint out of the tube. you just dip your brush in it just enough to make the paint flow but nit enough to be runny. In the later layers the medium has oil in it and you mix your paint and dip your brush in the medium to provide a better flow of paint on the canvas, it takes a little getting used to, so practice on something you don't care about. With the liquin it will dry very fast so be careful not to leave any on your brush or it will ruin them. If you need to slow it down mix it with a little linseed to retard the drying time.

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    Jeff: I checked out Richard Schmid and his work is very impressive i like the way he handles the paint, its direct and a bit modern but also rather traditional in some senses, Hopefully with tomorrow being Christmas and my birthday coming up ill get enough money that I may be able to purchase it! If you've got it yourself would you mind scanning a few pages and posting them just so I could get a few ideas about it? Also i checked out your 'grisaille' portraits and they are also rather impressive! Could you describe at all how you go about doing them? do you lay down a sort of mid tone first then go back in for darks and lights, or do a sketch first and fill in? Also, im interested in how you did the color portrait in your album and how long that took? Thanks alot! really helpful

    dpaint: I think i get how you're using the paint in the layers in terms of thickness and the use of the mediums but what exactly is it that you do WITH the paint? do you first sketch it out and fill in, or block in color and carve out details? im interested in the process as well as the use of the mediums you see. Thanks! been very helpful, i always have trouble with how much and what mediums to use when i paint!

    Thanks guys i really appreciate it, and Happy Holidays to you!
    Last edited by SweetPea; December 24th, 2009 at 09:18 AM.

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    Sorry,

    I generally draw with a brush and then block in the middle value of the shadow for the big areas of the painting. This leaves me with flat poster like shapes for the whole canvas. Then working dark to light, back to front, big to small, I develop and refine the areas and model the forms to finish. At the end I work all over the canvas in no particular order to unify everything. Soften edges, fix contours etc. At that point I am trying to make a good painting with good composition, pleasing color and a strong center of focus and I forget about subject matter per se; it is all just shape and color and value on canvas. Hope this helps.

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    If you want to aquire the Schmid book make sure you order direct from his publisher
    Stove Prairie Press. Softcover its $50.
    The prices on Amazon are jacked right up.

    http://www.richardschmid.com/book.html

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    dpaint: Thanks that clarifies things alot!

    CraigD: Yea i searched both and saw that, i was planning to get the one from his site, Thanks for the heads up. Do you personally own the schmid book?

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    Thanks - you're exactly right on the approach. Start with an overall mid tone wash (I prefer using Burnt Sienna) then with a clean brush lightly dipped in clean turp, begin to draw out the light planes/passages - don't draw/sketch everything though. Then with more opaque paint go in and establish/block in the shadow passages - pay close attention of course to cast vs. form shadow. You'll be amazed at how much control you have with this approach - you can simply wash back into a passage that went wrong and work it out again. Depending on your surface this is all best done wet-on-wet. It will take some getting used to but is fun. Painting is all about starting with big simple shapes and working back and forth until you make the statement you feel at the moment.

    The color portrait was an effort to use the very limited "Anders Zorn" palette: White, Black, Red, Yellow. It was more maybe in the 3-4 hour range - but I don't recall exactly. The approach is basically as dpaint described.

    I can't really scan the Schmid book very easily...but maybe you can preview it on Google books? But really just get a copy - definitely from his studio/publisher at Stove Prarie Press. You'll get a lot out of it - for years.

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    Hey Greg
    yeah, I bought Alla Prima a few years ago. It's worth it.

    I was able to check it out of my local library and read it before I bought it.
    Especially if you're tight on cash check out the libraries.
    And while you probably will want your own copy some time their is lots of good free info out there.
    It's just a matter of being carefull of your sources sometimes.

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    Jeff: Thanks that really clarifies things alot for me, but how you said after applying the first tone wash you use a clean brush with turpentine to somewhat sketch things out, does that mean that you almost are erasing the tone wash with the turpentine or do you also have paint on the second brush as well? Also, what surface do you generally work on? I find that painting on paper doesnt work very well at all and that canvas is a bit too expensive to learn a new technique, especially for one strapped for cash hehe

    I've searched for a preview slightly but wasn't able to find one, but ill definitely give it another go. Thanks

    CraigD: Yea ill defnititely search around for it in some libraries. Unfortuantely i live in a town of like 6 people so our library isnt the best but ill see if i can get to some larger ones soon enough. Is it popular enough that they might have it in stock at barnes and noble or some art stores? i could also check it out there possibly if its not in any libraries or on a google preview. Thanks
    Last edited by SweetPea; December 25th, 2009 at 09:30 AM.

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    Smaller libraries usually have a book exchange with larger libraries so they should be able to order it for you it just takes longer.

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    oo thats true i didn't even think about that thanks m8 ill check in hopefully this week thanks

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    The art term "wet-on-wet" means exactly what it appears to -- painting onto paint that is still wet. The other option available to you is to paint onto dry paint, know (unsurprisingly) as working wet-on-dry. Quite different results are achieved with each approach.

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    thanks carloschas, i think i understand the concept i just dont fully understand the methods and techniques could you give any advice on those?

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    Hey Greg - yeah - you basically "erase" or lift the tone out for the highlights with a clean brush - no paint. You'll just have to jump in and try it - you'll understand it better when you do. Paper won't work - inexpensive, primed canvas boards work ok. Basically you can use one board to practive the technique over and over - just wipe it down as clean as you can after each practice session - if you get one you really like leave it.

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    sweet jeff thanks i didnt even think about wiping it all off, im so used to wet on dry that i dont remember these things ya know? Thanks m8 thats exactly what ill do =)

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    heres a post of my first attempt guys, it turned out better than i thought it would. i didnt keep it just decided to take pics and get advice before i erased them. Didnt spend very long on it just a quick little go at it. I did 3 more but they didnt turn out nearly as well so ill just keep them to myself hehe. Ill post another one or more today. Tell me what you think plz!

    Attachment 871517
    Last edited by SweetPea; January 5th, 2010 at 09:18 AM.

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    Right on man - what did you think about that technique? I would say it's a pretty good job - her left eye quite a bit small but this is practice for both drawing and getting familiar with the oils. Keep it up!

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    thanks m8 i like the technique i can see it getting very easy(after a good deal of practice of course) and being a very useful tool, my main problem is getting it drawn in since im drawing with a brush, if im using a pencil i can usually get all the proportions and distances fairly accurate but drawing with a brush is much more difficult as you know. Like everything tho just takes practice! wow yea now that i look at it again the eye is ridiculously small, in the photo i used she was sorta squinting with that eye but obviously i didnt show that much! haha thanks m8 therell be more to come. Also, do you think you could check out my sketchbook? link is on my sig now Thanks!

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    you have some nice tone in that. If you are uncomfortable drawing with the brush draw it lightly in charcoal and then take the wet brush back over it to get rid of any hard lines.

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    yea i was thinking about that dpaint, do you know what the lightest charcoal is out there? all the stufff ive ever used is really dark then i read about old masters drawing things in with charcoal and going back over them with ink and such. id also like to find a little charcoal holder too =) thanks!

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