Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Prohaska's Painting Method

The new Illustration Magazine has a feature on Ray Prohaska (1919-1997) that includes an extended transcription of what he said during a painting demonstration.
"I will start today using the alla prima technique, and drawing with a brush. Right now, I'm going to prepare my palette.... I will use cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, raw umber, ivory black, naples yellow—if I have it—mars yellow, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light, which I may or may not use. Now Grumbacher's titanium white—which is slow drying. And you will notice I squeeze out a great amount of color, particularly white. Turpentine is the only medium that I will use. Two cans of turpentine—one for painting, the other for washing the brush."

The passage continues on for several pages, offering a detailed glimpse into the thinking behind the procedure of a notable mid-20th century illustrator. Like many of his contemporaries, he was attuned to the abstract potential of his paintings:
"Now there is one particular thing to notice, and that is this. That is how wonderful painting is, the wonder and magic of painting...that practically all of these dabs I'm putting on are in themselves kind of a mosaic pattern, completely abstract, right? You see them abstractly, but they build to a reality as they are held together, and being placed alongside each other is creating a kind of magic."
Read the rest in Illustration Magazine Issue 67, which also has features on Vincent DiFate and Samson Pollen.
Back issues of the magazine, such as Illustration 55, are also available.

1 comment:

A Colonel of Truth said...

Sounds much like Sergei Bongart’s approach.