Friday, January 21, 2011

Evolution Of A Picture- Part 4

Crimson Harvest - by Greg Newbold - 24" x 14" acrylic on canvas

Dusting off this step-by-step tutorial has been a lot of fun. I hope you have enjoyed the previous installments. Here's the fourth and final post on this project- enjoy!

With the finished drawing in hand, I now prepare the panel onto which it will be transferred for the final painting.  I use a variety of surfaces depending on the result I want to achieve.  For this picture I chose a canvas covered hardboard panel. I don’t like the factory texture on most canvas boards so I prepared the surface by scrubbing on several coats of unbleached Titanium colored acrylic gesso, sanding a bit in between if necessary.
I then project the drawing onto the canvas and begin laying in rough values with diluted semi- transparent acrylic paint. I do this in a fairly monochromatic manner to establish the value relationships. For this piece I used a mixture of umbers and purple, though the chroma and saturation varies depending on the project. I then begin to lay in color and texture. I tend to be impatient and have been known to employ a hairdryer to hasten drying time. The acrylic paint is applied opaquely and then glazed over with transparent washes to build up to a finish surface that I like. These washes are sometimes mixed with different mediums and at times merely thinned with water. Glazing helps to unify the color scheme and adds subtleties to the surface that I enjoy. I often scrub the glazes back off to varying degrees ( I use a damp tissue or paper towel, sometimes fingers) before the paint is completely dry. This results in some of the wash remaining behind in the lower areas of the canvas surface.  The shadow areas have a more transparent paint quality while the highlights are built up with opaque paint. The paint nuances continue to build through successive layers until I am satisfied with all the areas of the painting. This painting needed around 30 hours of working time to complete, not including the planning and drawing time.
I like to have a consistent level of finish  all over the canvas and work the edges as much as I do the center. The brightest highlights and cleanest strokes of color go on last.  When I think it is finished, and if I have the luxury of time (some jobs are sent out minutes after the paint dries) I set it aside for a day or two and come back later to evaluate whether it needs any final touches. The painting is then varnished with a satin acrylic varnish and sent off for photographing and framing.

Evolution of a Picture part 1
Evolution of a Picture part 2
Evolution of a Picture part 3

10 comments:

Mike Blake / Monisawa said...

Thanks for posting this. It's always nice to receive tutorials from current and successful illustrators.

Kayleen West Cavill said...

Thanks for sharing Greg. It must be stressful having to send them out mediately though?

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks Blake, it was fun to post this. Kayleen- I guess I am used to squeaking in under the deadline. I usually pad my schedule by a couple days to make sure I have time to photograph things. Working more in digital medium has been great in that respect because I can upload it immediately- no drying time, photography or framing necessary!

INDIGENE said...

Thank you for sharing this! It's great knowing what the masters are doing! :)

Shirley said...

Wow, marvelous work!!

Jack Foster said...

Great tutorial Greg and wonderful illustration! Thanks!

Oliver. said...

Excellent work, thanks for sharing your process with us. Let me ask you something, in projects like this what do you deliver to your clients, just a digital file or the original painting as well?

Ed Tuttle said...

Beautiful work, Greg. It's always great to see someone else's process. There really is no right or wrong way of doing it, as long as you keep learning and stretching yourself. Keep up the merging of traditional and digital... it really aids and adds to the creative process.

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks for the response everyone. It makes me more excited to post stuff when I know people are looking forward to seeing what's next. Oliver- lately I deliver stuff digitally unless it's local. I have things photographed locally and just sent the file. If it's digital anyway, it's even easier. In the past I would send the painting, which I then would not see for months or longer. I do much less of that these days. Ed- I think the digital exploration has made my traditional work stronger and vice-versa.

Kimberly Dwinell said...

Really masterful, it is very kind of you to share your process.