Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Foreign Shores

We have lots of beautiful shells on our Maine beaches, but none of these!  I do own some though and have painted them several times. Gee... there are a ga-ZILLION colors in this one! 

Thought I'd show you the process for this particular piece. 
My palette (which I learned from Carol Marine) typically consists of six colors (Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Cad Yellow Light, Cad Red Medium, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine, and Phthalo Blue) plus Titanium White and Burnt Umber. When I can't get a bright enough pink or orange, I occasionally add Permanent Rose or Cadmium Orange. There's also a little blob of Liquin at the top to help paint consistency and speed drying.

Depending on the complexity of the subject, I sometimes choose to work out the composition and details in an initial sketch and transfer it to my panel. This allows me to focus on color and value once the painting begins...which are the things that REALLY excite me.

First, I under painted the panel with Permanent Rose. I always begin an oil painting by reserving my lightest lights so I don't "lose" them (which is the opposite of what I did in working with soft pastels for ten years.)
For the middle stages of a painting I work back and forth among the values. This helps me keep them accurate in relation to each other. 

I put in the background table and cast shadow...

...and the background.

A couple more tweaks to the shell's shape and a few values...and I'm done. 

This is how my palette looks when I'm finished.

Oil on panel, 6" x 6"


suzannepaints said...

Just great! Love the explanation and that you took time to show us how this beautiful masterpiece was painted.

Page Railsback said...

What a nice blog site..great energy in your work..

Kathy Mallat said...

Wow! This is STUNNING! You're right...there are a "ga-ZILLION" colors in this type of shell, and you captured every single one just perfectly! Thanks for allowing us to see the progression of this painting, Bren. Such a treat to watch everything unfold.

Jerry Stocks said...

Great tutorial and a fabulous painting--thanks so much for sharing the process.

Linda Nickles said...

This is so interesting . . . thank you for sharing the process with us.

The Muse of The Day said...

I, too, appreciate you sharing the process. As a new painter, I am watching your daily paintings ... no, I said that wrong. I am drooooooling over them. I can't seem to get enough of the luscious color choices you make. For me, the process post was invaluable. Thank you. Carolina

Sandy Graeser Haynes said...

I love how you showed us you secret method ! I always assumed you started with the red-orange first... ha ha fooled me ! that's what I get for assuming something ! Thanks for the hint about how you get a more intense pink with permanent rose... very helpful ! sometimes as soon as I add a bit of white to my alizarin crimson I loose all intensity... go figure... Now I'll go buy some permanent rose... thanks, Brenda ! I'm going to Carol's workshop in Fish Creek Wisconsin in August, and CAN'T WAIT !!