"Nicolas Lanier after Van Dyck"
11 x 14 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
Here is another master copy I attempted after Van Dyck. Practice makes perfect and I enjoy practicing as much as I can with this technique. I have been noticing how valuable the under painting is. In the under painting stage you get all proportions and values correct, this is important when applying color in subsequent layers. It allows you to not worry about proportions or drawing and more on texture or the look you're going for. I strongly recommend trying this technique or at least doing a master copy.
I started by drawing the shadow shapes and important landmarks. I used raw umber and no mediums. You can use a little bit of mineral spirits to make the paint glide to your liking. I tend to not use any mineral spirits and very minimal paint, almost as if I was scum-bling the paint.
Shadow Shapes Fill In
This stage I only use raw umber with 2 parts mineral spirits and 1 part linseed oil. (Not sure why the picture show the canvas warmer than it should be.)
This is where most of the painting starts coming together. Spend as much as time as you need to get this stage correct. The objective is to get the values, drawing, and proportions right. Most of your painting is completed in this stage. You can start on this stage right after filling in the shadow shapes without leaving it to dry. I use 1 part of linseed oil and 2 part of mineral spirits. I am only using raw umber and white for colors.
1st Lay In
After the under painting is completed then I start glazing color. I use 1 part mineral spirit and 1 part linseed oil. Do not use a lot of paint on the brush, glaze the color to match the value that is stated in the under painting. Start this stage once the under painting is completely dry. The point of this stage is to match chroma to the value in the under painting. As stated before keep the paints fairly thin as later stages it will be thicker. Colors I used were raw umber, cadmium orange, napthol scarlet, burnt sienna, naples yellow, ivory black and titanium white. I start painting the shadows shapes first by painting the colors that belong in those specific areas. I start using ivory black to indicate the darkest dark. Once that is completed I move onto the light shapes. I started on the edges where light shapes meets with the shadow shapes. I start indicating the middle to lighter values of the chroma in the correct areas. The paints are really thin I do not put much paint on the brush which allows me to control the value and chroma. The way I paint with the brush I usually start by scum-bling back and forth without lifting from the canvas. When doing this I am only concerned of laying the paint down and not about detailed areas as it does not give me enough control to do so. Once I need to get more specific with the blends and achieve certain texture I then start to dab the brush. When dabbing I always start with a soft approach on the amount of pressure I am applying to the brush. If I press too hard in the beginning its going to give me to much paint and a stronger chroma. Its the same idea when drawing with a pencil, its all about handling it with sensitivity.
2nd Lay In
I let the painting dry before starting this stage. You can oil out the darker areas if you need an accurate judgement of the overall values. Again I started with the darker shapes doing a final pass of ivory black. Then in the light shapes I paint in all the subtle textures in the skin tones. I indicate the highlights in the eyes. I do not use any mediums at this stage. If you do use medium just use linseed oil and no mineral spirits. I am using the same colors as stated in the previous stage. I am using very minimal paints for certain areas. I am not scum-bling the paints as this will give it a chalky look in this stage. I am dabbing the colors to get the right texture and feel I want. As stated before I think of this as I am rendering with a pencil. The amount of pressure will dictate the value and chroma of the color.
I challenge everyone who reads this to try it out. Very interested to see what you guys produce.