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 How do you complete a painting in stages?

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Janet
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PostSubject: How do you complete a painting in stages?   Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:13 am

I'm wanting to work on paintings that have more detail and bigger then what I've been doing. I ususally complete my paintings in one session but I know that won't be possible with a bigger and more elaborate painting. My idea of bigger is just bigger then 8X10 so not huge. I'm just wondering the process that everyone uses and realize their would be several ways to do this. I would like to poke away at it working on a small area at a time but I don't understand how you do that blending wise when the paint has dried.

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dbclemons



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Join date: 2009-11-16
Location Location: Texas

PostSubject: Re: How do you complete a painting in stages?   Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:52 am

Many oil painters work at a larger size but still alla prima. Time spent will depend on the painting and how you apply it. Most often, in fact, those who work larger think of it as having more room to throw paint around. If you want to have relatively the same amount of detail as what you've been doing, except larger, then it will likely take you longer - but not always. If you more or less just scale up a small painting to a larger size, then you don't necessarily need to add more detail. On the other hand, if the objects are approximately the same size but there's more stuff (like pulling back a camera) then there'll be more work involved. You could also do a combination of large brushstrokes (say in background) and have other areas with finer details.

I tend to work slightly larger, but still relatively smaller than many other artists I know. Typically around 18-24" or so. To do the scenes I prefer smaller than @ 9x12" is too confining to me, unless it's like a larger painting with a small section cropped out of it in close-up, if you will.

As far as working in stages, my system these days is to rough in the undertone for the whole painting at the start, and then bring each area up to near completion as I work around the painting. It requires me having a fairly clear idea of what the whole painting will look like beforehand, but that's what I prefer. Others tend to want to allow the work to evolve more as they go.
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: How do you complete a painting in stages?   Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:16 pm

I tend to work by laying down the under painting and then follow with background (in Landscapes) starting from the top down. I make sure that any areas such as the sky which may require a variety of blending is all done in one sitting.

Any portion that requires a lot of blending, whether it be near or far, I always try to complete at one time. I add highlights later and minor changes can be made the next day since the paints are usuall still workable. If they are not as workable as I want, I dip the brush tip into an very sparing amount of walnut oil and apply it to the area I want to modify. Then when I apply the new paint, it blends out nicely.

I really haven't had any problem with larger paintings, especially because the paints remain workable for severl days. It actually helps because it gives you lots of room to work in mulitple areas all in the same sitting.

A mahl also helps to keep you out of the wet paint. I just use a 3 foot long dowel, 3/4 inch in diameter. I rest the shaft against the edge of the painting and cradle it in my left arm, while resting my right wrist or foearm on it for stability.
Judy

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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: How do you complete a painting in stages?   Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:50 pm

Thank you so much David and Judy for you help! I had quite a few light bulbs turn on reading though your suggestions and tips. I'll be trying it out on my next painting of the still life for the current challenge. I think I'll intentionally do one area at a time just to get the feel for it top to bottom. When I get to the landscape I'll try more working all over the painting. Smile

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acadianartist



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Join date: 2009-11-23
Location Location: Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: How do you complete a painting in stages?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:18 pm

All I can add is LARGE BRUSHES!!! And of course, stand as far back from your painting as possible. A large painting requires you to step back more often as you tend to get lost in details when you're standing close to it which won't even be visible to someone standing a few feet away. I don't use any small brushes on paintings 16 x 20 or larger. But otherwise, the principes are the same: composition, values and avoid overworking the thing.
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: How do you complete a painting in stages?   Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:38 am

Chantal, Thank you for the great advice! Smile

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Janet
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