Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eve and Varnishing

Today I did some work on the glazing layer to a painting called Eve Eating An Apple While God Looks On. I managed good glazed greens for a rare time. My failures in the past come from;
1. Using only viridian as my green because of it's permanence and the fact that I dislike the overpowering phthalo greens. I still do this. I love viridian, it's the only green I need.
2. Making glazes too transparent. Now I use more opaque yellows and tend to add a bit of white.
3. Underpainting in inappropriate colours. This is less of a problem with a more opaque glaze though.

Either way, today's greens went well and I managed to paint a square apple from life, and then ate the model! The rest of the tiny painting must wait until Friday.

At 4pm I varnished two paintings to add to the five I varnished yesterday. All went well but it's amazing how much of a skill varnishing alone is. In a perfect world I'd have a room just for varnishing; something with white walls and a hard floor like an operating theatre, and sideways light so that the sheen is visible. My top two varnishing tips are:

1. First apply and wipe off a very thin spray of alcohol, to prevent beading or repulsion from the oil surface.
2. Warm the varnish in a container of boiling water. I discovered this one because varnishing is much much easier on hot summer days.

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