|HOW TO OIL PAINT
Materials of the Old
There are many Old Masters of European Oil
Painting and they span from the 1300's to the
1700's. The one fact that cannot be denied, is
they did not use our modern Alkali refined with
caustic chemicals INDUSTRIAL Linseed oil,
whether its called STAND OIL or just Linseed oil.
Please see my website www.calcitesunoil.com
for a full explanation of the Old Masters'
SUPERIOR oil and the many benefits it offers.
This page will show some of my new paintings
in progress. It is important to know that ten
artists will paint in ten different ways. There is no
ONE CORRECT WAY to oil paint.
However the Old Masters, varied as they are in
the individual methods of paint application
followed two general basic methods
The first is the intricate LAYERED METHOD best
exemplified by the work of the Flemish masters
such as Van Eyck. This method involved a
detailed under drawing, and a few impositions of
oil paint. The drawing was a guide and made the
work easier to do.
Much like a child's coloring book with crayons.
The second is a more free method where lots of
intuition are guiding the painter.
This method is best exemplified by the work of
Hals, Velazquez, Rembrandt and Rubens.
YET... even these spontaneous, intuitive paint
applications are usually painted quickly upon a
PREPARED UNDERSTRUCTURE. This under
work is called by many names.
Sometimes as in Rubens, there was a very loose
charcoal drawing at the beginning.
Neither Velazquez, Hals or Rembrandt made
under drawings on the canvas.
But, they did make an UNDER PAINTING in
some dark tone usually followed by
some type of GRISAILLE gray or muted opaque
This under structure allowed the free
spontaneous sometimes flashy loose fluid
brushstrokes and impasto that give the painting
energy and life.
OIL PAINTING as taught today and as usually
followed by beginners
is a SIMPLE DIRECT application method on the
This method is very effective in the hands of a
master painter such as VAN GOGH, who usually
made an outline on the canvas with ultramarine
blue and then began to apply his colors on the
wet blue paint. This method allows a painter to
finish a painting in a few hours.
WHICH EVER way you wish to paint, I believe it
is important to paint SAFELY without any use of
hazardous solvents, resins, varnishes and
My website, www.calcitesunoil.com will teach
you how to do that.
|THESE PAINTINGS OF MINE ARE MADE WITH THE TWO
METHODS OF MATERIALS DESCRIBED ON MY WEBSITE
One is: The CALCITE SUN OIL/EMULSIONS METHOD
The other is: THE CALCITE SUN OIL/AGUADO METHOD
Please see my website for a full explanation.
TITLE: The NATIVE AMERICAN
SIZE: 40" X 30" on Birch plywood
GROUND: Traditional Gesso with hide glue
MATERIALS: CSO/AGUADO - Old Holland Tube paints
PROCEDURE: The wood was sealed with the glue
The gesso was applied thinly, 2 coats, by hand, no brush, no
The dry gesso received an OIL SEAL IMPRIMATURA. This was
AGUADO tinted with DRY yellow ochre pigment.
The dry IMPRIMATURA was given a thin coat rubbed on by
hand of AGUADO tinted with tube Venetian red.
On this wet paint, I scraped the design with a palette knife and
INTO THIS WET FILM, I applied a HALF-WHITE
This is a mix of white tube Titanium Dioxide paint and some
tube burnt umber. The umber accelerates the drying of the
white. Tho I call it a half white..its not an equal mix of umber
and white. In fact its very little umber.
THIS GRISAILLE was allowed to dry overnight. Only with the
superior Old Masters' Oil is this fast hard drying possible
without use of solvents and driers.
THEN the surface was given an oil out with AGUADO like
before but clear without any tint color. A dark mix of
ultramarine blue and umber was applied thinly. a small bit of
white made some grays.
I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO FINISH THE PAINTING
I WILL USE IT FOR TEACHING.
When the painting was dry, I gave it a thin coat of AGUADO
on the two areas I wanted to work on, not the entire painting.
I completed the top portion of the American and the head of
the horse.. FINISHING is a subjective term. Even Rembrandt
would rework a painting ten years later. A painting can always
be considered a WORK IN PROGRESS.
Its been said: Anyone can start a painting --only a master can
finish one. ITS TRUE. Finishing is very time consuming and
CONCLUSION: This LAYERED method is the type used by
Rubens, Rembrandt and Velazquez. The design was
scratched into the wet paint much how Velazquez has done.
OIL PAINT is not liquefied. GLAZES are NOT LIQUID PAINT.
GLAZES are thick viscous paint, rubbed into a wet oil out with
any brush, then smoothed down with a finger. Fingerprints of
the masters are commonly found in their paint as they
smoothed down the layers. This method gives you full control
of the paint.
The Old Masters did not use those clip on cups on the hand
Look at VELAZQUEZ self portrait. Had the paint been
liquefied it would roll down onto the floor.
|THE LAYERED METHOD WITHOUT A
DETAILED UNDER DRAWING
|DETAILED UNDER DRAWING METHOD
AS IN THE 15th CENTURY FLEMISH
This method was used by Brueghel and Bosch, and many
It starts with a vine charcoal drawing that is then inked in.
This is fixed so it will not smudge. See my website
www.calcitesunoil.com the BLOG page ...
for a simple and effective method to fix the charcoal.
BOSCH AND BRUGHEL
Bosch and Brueghel were making surrealistic art 500 years
The first painting here is one I made in 1963 as a 20 year old.
At the time I was using Frederic Taubes' [ 1900-1981] Copal
resin painting mediums. Its a large painting on wood.
Unfortunately, I no longer own this old painting, but over the
years I have wanted to make one similar to it.
THIS NEW PAINTING is called THE FISH.
24X30" on 1/2 inch birch plywood. traditional gesso.
CSO/AGUADO , Old Holland tube paints.
Vine charcoal drawing, India Ink ,
fixed with hot rabbit skin glue.
8/18/09 THE PAINTING IS IN PROGRESS....
8/19= i KNEW THE DESIGN COMPOSITION was negatively
impacted by the position of the bird....so..I scraped it off.
... Still in progress.
|AUGUST 2009 THE FISH
Scroll below to see how it was painted
|9/20/09 ; After living with the "finished" painting for a month, I
knew what it needed to be more "finished", or, what it lacked. I
eliminated the pinkish color of the sky and increased the
yellow orange. I also added some grays. This is an example of
GLAZING. Many artists are improperly taught on glazing.
Teachers show how to liquefy the oil paint. A better method is
to apply the thick viscous paint into a damp oil out that is
CORRECTLY mixed and CORRECTLY applied. Details are in
my book. Both the brush and fingers are used in the
application. Many of the Old Masters would retouch and
change their 'finished' paintings years later.
| HOW TO OIL PAINT
with the methods and materials of
THE OLD MASTERS
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