Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New painting progression: St. Sebastian

Three of my biggest heroes in all of art history are Velázquez, Titian, and Rubens.  They all just happen to be connected because Rubens was an influence on Velázquez (and I would imagine vice versa), and Titian was an influence on both.  It makes sense when you look at the work of these three masters, and the strong, painterly Venetian technique exploited by all three. 
My latest work is inspired by these three artists, and I'm doing my best to create a painting based on some of their techniques (particularly Velázquez because he's my favorite as you well know).  The subject is the ever popular St. Sebastian, as far as old master figurative paintings go.  My version is only about halfway complete, but here is a peek at its progression:

In the preliminary underpainting, I started with a raw canvas stretched over a 32x28 frame.  I used an oil-based ground applied with a palette knife and brush.  The ground was quite stiff and had a strong tug, which created a very coarse texture that I didn't intend, but worked out great given the effects I was wanting to accomplish with brushwork, impasto, etc.  After the ground dried, I went over it with a thin, oiled out coat of burnt sienna/raw umber, giving the golden brown ground color.  I brushed in the figure as you see in this picture with raw umber.
After the first underpainting dried, I went over the figure with a limited palette of burnt sienna, raw umber, and white to create a basic color/value layer, and basically to finalize the drawing of the figure.
The next step was to add a full palette of color to the figure, which consists of:  Titanium white, lemon yellow, cadmium red, scarlet lake, alizarin crimson, sap green, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and raw umber.  Some areas will require more layers, particularly the face which will include some highlights and impastos.

This is the current state of the painting (as of 7/30/2013).  The figure is about 90% finished, with final details, touch-ups, and higlights to be completed soon.  I began work on the background, that started with the sky and distant landscape painted with a mix of lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, and white followed by a small layer of lapis lazuli (which didn't have the effect I wanted, so I switched to an ultramarine blue).  I am expecting a delivery in the mail of Velázquez medium and Oleogel medium from Rublev.  The Velázquez medium is an impasto medium of calcite and oil that I am looking forward to using for the final details of the figure.  In the meantime, I will be working on the rest of the landscape and background.
Stay tuned for the final painting soon, as well as an announcement for my next exhibition coming up in August.  By the way, here are some pictures from the Summit Art exhibition at UCM Warrensburg, which concludes August 9th.  Check it out!


No comments:

Post a Comment