Monday, February 14, 2011


Sorry for the lack of updates lately. School has been keeping me pretty busy. I'm just approaching the mid-term now and looking forward to the break!

I've been learning about glazes in one of my courses this semester and I'm pretty impressed with the results so far. Glazing is a technique from the Renaissance that had the artist apply diluted colour values over a monochromatic painting and gradually build the colours up. It's different from alla prima painting in that you don't apply the colours you see until the end. With Alla Prima, you lay your colours down directly onto the canvas.

What I enjoy about the glazing technique is that working in monochrome makes it a lot easier to model and perfect the figure without the added complication of choosing the right colours. The idea with laying down thin glazes of colour is that you establish your tints and tones in the monochromatic stage so that you simply have to lay one solid colour down over top.

Our teacher had us do an assignment where we had to copy a painting by a Master and apply this technique. I chose a Northern Renaissance painting by Robert Campin, "Portrait of a Man". I thought the bright red turban would work smashingly with this technique. I mixed oil paints with a quick drying glazing medium and was really surprised at how well it worked out. It felt a little bit like colourizing a black and white movie :P

I'd really like to use this technique again in my own painting sometime. I'm really amazed by the amount of control I was able to get out of working monochromatically.

...and no, your eyes are not playing tricks on you-- there are a few minor differences between the black & white and colour versions-- a few small edits were made by me before applying the colours and our man looks slightly more happier now.

...and yes, my show is still on at the TPL and you should totally go see it if you haven't yet, or else come out on the 26th for the meet and greet!

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