Friday, February 17, 2017

Painting stripes on a bongo

When you're painting in oil, it's possible to lay down light shapes over dark ones while the dark under-layer is still wet. But to do that, you've got to keep the under-layer thin and not too wet.

That's how I painted the white stripes on this bongo. I was lucky that at this antelope at a zoo was resting long enough for me to paint this study (about 45 minutes).

Over a tinted Venetian red priming, I lightly painted the brown body without the stripes. I used a small amount of Liquin as my medium, with white synthetic flat brush for the brushes. I then painted the stripes on top of the wet paint, and they came off the brush without disturbing the layers beneath.

Having slightly wet paint can actually improve the handling of subsequent strokes, and that's why people oil out when they're going back into a dry painting.
Previously: What is oiling out?


Dianne Mize said...

James, I'm interested in knowing more about your Venetian Red priming. Is it in oil as well? Thanks.

Unknown said...

I've been wondering about this topic. Would a good way to keep the lower layer thin and dry be to scrub or scumble it into the canvas? And to add the upper layer, does thinning it down make it flow off the brush easier and that's why it doesn't disturb the lower layer as much?

James Gurney said...

Robert, yes, both those things. Always good in oil to go from thing to thick (or lean to fat). Not much medium at the beginning. You can actually lay a stroke on top of an impasto if you don't use a lot of medium and you're careful not to disturb it.

Dianne, In this case I mixed Venetian red acrylic with the gesso. I also like to prime with oil. For that, I mix red oil paint with oil priming.