Monday, October 3, 2011

How to turn a girl into Abe Lincoln

Instead of using the Gallery Flambeau to get rid of a sub-par oil study, I painted over it.

I started with a fairly thin, dry scumble to partially cover the old paint. Then I drew the new subject with a brush. Then shadows, halftones, reflected light, and background.

Painting a new study of an old one is an old tradition. Sargent did it often with his oil landscapes. One reason for doing this (apart from being a cheapskate and reusing old panels) is that the old painting suggests random colors and textures that are fun to build over.

One caution. For finished work, it’s not really conservationally sound because of the risks of pentimenti, but it’s OK for studies.

This was a sample demo for my recent workshop on painting in colored light.
Previously: Painting in Colored Light
Gallery Flambeau


My Pen Name said...

Wish i had a sub par like that. Also good that you turned it over, especially when doing another head study that way it's not 'looking at you' pulling you back to painting its lines rather than the new subject (this happens to me when i paint over old studies)

Rich said...

A nice way of recycling - sub par or not.

I hope your Abe Lincoln will be keeping on a par with your future painting progress.

Wouldn't be surpised if he'd be overpainted as well in the near future; by another fantastic Gurney Journey product;-)

Steve said...

I certainly produced some pieces in that workshop that deserve this treatment. Thanks, as always, for a great idea.

mica-to said...

mind sharing what exactly about the old study you found sub-par? help the rest of us understand better the way to look at your own work :-)

Timothy said...

I've always wondered: How do you store/handle/manage your art?

All the canvases and panels and boards and sketches that you've put work on but haven't sold, given away, relegated to the Gallery Flambeau (, or re-used by painting-over...they all take up space. How do you deal with a mountain of creations?

While it's tempting to simply take a picture and then chuck the pieces in question, that's a far less stable solution (as you discussed than simply keeping the pieces intact. On the other hand, it's not as though future scholars will be dredging up my work and lamenting lost paintings.

As Chuck Jones said, “Every artist has thousands of bad drawings in them and the only way to get rid of them is to draw them out.” But no one ever seems to say what to do with them afterwards.