Still Life Painting Atelier: An Introduction to Oil Painting

Still Life Painting Atelier: An Introduction to Oil Painting

Michael Friel

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 0823034089

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The equivalent of a foundation course in traditional oil painting for beginning to intermediate level artists, this in-depth book uses the still life as a practical way to master oil techniques. The still life is a practical, forgiving genre as it does not require the likeness of a portrait or the accurate proportions of the figure and, unlike the landscape, it doesn’t change with the weather. Instead, it gives aspiring artists ample time to study and the opportunity to look closer. It can be used as a purely formal subject for drawing and painting techniques, or a platform for emotional expression using personal symbolism and imagery.
However, though the still life is used throughout as a teaching tool, this is first and foremost a book about  oil painting. It begins with simple compositions that build to more complex arrangements. Starting with essential information on how to best set up your studio—including lighting, equipment, materials (paints, solvents, brushes, mediums), and preparing your canvas and paper for oil painting—Still Life Painting Atelier then offers concrete lessons in a logical progressive sequence, with step-by-step illustrations, finished paintings, diagrams and tips. Chapters cover:

   • How to address composition through thumbnail sketches and line drawings
   • Using underpainting to study the characteristics of light and shade
   • The basics of color theory and color mixing
   • How to use a variety of brushes to create sharp and soft edges
   • Techniques that are helpful when painting metal and glass
   • How to apply glazing and scumbling to bring luminosity and texture

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and is the medium I like to use. ALKYD MEDIUMS Alkyd resin is a synthetic resin that was first used in house paints and varnishes in the 1930s. The alkyd resin used in artists’ materials is combined with a drying oil, and is called an oil-modified alkyd resin. It performs in a similar way to linseed oil, so it can be combined with traditional oil colors. Alkyd mediums have gained popularity with artists in recent decades. They are made using a milder solvent than is used with a traditional oil

in the shadow box would most likely be in the way. It may take a few attempts to hang draped fabric before you get an arrangement that looks good. Once you’ve got it the way you want it, attach the fabric to the shadow box using straight pins or clothespins to reduce any chance of it shifting. NOTE I usually set up the still life in a certain order. First, I insert the background, and then I arrange the fabric—the most challenging part of setting up a still life. After I have selected and

shadow can be seen on the two pieces of fruit. On the left side, you can see the highlight, and the slightly darker halftones. The core shadow appears just as the surface of the fruit faces away from the light source. Reflected light from the tablecloth illuminates the areas in the shadow. The cast shadow extends to the right of the fruit across the surface of the tablecloth. ESTABLISHING THE UNDERPAINTING Now that we have a better understanding of value contrasts and the characteristics of

a small, round, soft-hair brush, apply the lightest tints of the local color to the highlights. You can use a mahlstick to keep your palm from touching the canvas. STEP 10 CLEAN UP THE EDGES. Once all objects are painted, refine the edges as desired by painting the objects and the negative shapes around them. STEP 11 REPEATS STEPS 1 TO 10 FOR EACH OBJECT. The completed painting should look something like this. For best results, apply the colors of this palette opaquely (do not overthin the

be located far apart from each other so that exhaust air does not reenter through the second window. Make sure that your work area is set up in such a way that fresh air, not exhaust air, passes through your breathing space. You can test to see if your studio is well ventilated by opening a door. If there is resistance when you open a door toward the outside, or it opens too easily when opened toward the inside, then there is not enough fresh air entering your studio. RESPIRATORS AND DUST MASKS

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