Friday, May 16, 2014

Mentoring Mondays - All Knife and Nothing But A Knife!

8"x8" oil on archival panel

Mondays during May I'm hosting lessons in my studio for those who are interested in learning how to use a palette knife in their work.  I think it's a great exercise to begin with 'total immersion'. Painting knife, no medium, and painting from life. 
I did remember to photo some of the parts along the way through! 
Here's our set-up:
First, you'll take that blank canvas and make some marks indicating where your objects will lay. Perhaps you want certain pieces to run off the edge. Think of your shadow shapes as part of your composition. Where will you place these? Once you've thought about your placement, start 'massing' in the shapes in a midtone of that local color. 
Then you'll want to start indicating those shadow shapes after you objects are laid in. If you've misplaced some of your objects on the canvas, scrape back the paint and moving it where you need it to be.  You are not "filling in the lines" like a 'coloring book', you are laying in masses of color, and those edges can be moved about as need be. Think of it as a 'push/pull' process. 
 And yes, I've left this photo uncropped so that you can see how I like to place my painting panel on a larger surface (in this case a larger piece of heavy corrugated cardboard) so that each knife stroke of paint has plenty of clearance. It can be very annoying to feel cramped when placing a stroke of paint and your hand/knife gets jammed into the ridge on your easel that holds the bottom edge! Same goes for the top. I attach it to the cardboard with blue painters tape. It does hold well enough to keep it staying put while I work on the painting! 
Once I get the darks laid in, I start adjusting. I'm interested in exciting color comparisons, & value contrasts.  Then finally working the lighter areas last, looking for reflected light in my subjects.

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Blogger Julie Ford Oliver said...

What a great lesson for the lucky
You use color so well Roxanne - a real treat to the eyes.

May 20, 2014 at 1:33 PM  

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