Silverpoint Head with Highlighting

6" x 8", Silverpoint on prepared, grounded
hotpress watercolor paper,
This is a silverpoint drawing, it was drawn
on a piece of paper that I prepared with a
ground made of a small amount of Liquitex
gesso mixed with a small amount of white
Gouache paint and then colored with cyan
and green watercolor paint. The ground is
applied with a wide, soft watercolor brush
and allowed to dry. It can be sanded if
it is too rough. You can also use straight
gesso, casein, or gouache as grounds. The
problem with gouache is that it remains
reactive to water.
It is easy to do a silverpoint drawing. All
you need is an architect's technical lead holder,
a piece of 18 guage silver wire, some masking
tape, and some very fine sand paper. You cut
a piece of silver wire about one inch long, and
wrap some tape around it so it won't wiggle
around in the lead holder. Then you place it
in the lead holder and retract the metal
"petals" that hold the lead in, and make sure
the silver doesn't wiggle.
Then, you sand the point until it is round.
This is very important, so that you won't just
rip lines in the ground. The abrasive ground
causes a little bit of silver to come off of the
wire each time you make a stroke, and
voila, you have a silverpoint drawing.
The highlighting was done with a very fine
#00 round liner-type watercolor brush and
some white gouache (often referred to as
"body color" in descriptions of old drawings).
This is really fun. You ought to try it. The silver
will oxidize over time, turning browner. If you
paint some egg yolk over it lightly, this will
accelerate the oxidation.
Thanks for visiting today.


Italian Villa Sunrise

4" x 5 1/2" , Oil over Acrylic on Board,
$100.00 SOLD
This is another version of a painting that I did
many years ago, based on a black and white
photograph I found in Italy. It is partly real,
and mostly made up.
A glaze of ultramarine blue over a thin black
acrylic sketch was the inspiration for the
"sunrise". From there it was fairly easy to imagine
what colors would be there if the sun were shining
from below...the red roof just catching the light, and
the statue catching full sun. I wish I were there now...
When I lived there I could go to the student cafeteria,
the Mensa, and get lunch or dinner for 50 cents. Those
days are long gone. I haven't been back since 1973.
But I've not lost the inspiration to still make pictures
of the place. There is no other place like it.


Back Pose of Nude Female Posing in Life Class

Oil on gessoed linen canas, 12" x 16" $100.00
This figure sketch was done in a combination of
three colors of paint that worked remarkably well
for the skin tones of this model: Van Dyke Brown,
Burnt Umber, and Winsor Newton Naples Yellow.
I stress Winsor Newton Naples Yellow, because I
feel that it is one of the few companies that manu-
factures a true Naples Yellow color. Also, notice
this is painted on a gessoed linen that has first been
toned with gray. That is one of the reasons that it
works so well.
Gray tends to take on the complement
of whatever color is placed against it. It's called
"optical grays", and in this case, it's picking up the
orange that is suggested by the mixture of the burnt
umber (a very orangey brown) and the Naples Yellow.
The medium that I used was Liquin. I also "oiled up" my
canvas (put an extremely thin layer of Liquin on the
surface) before I started painting, to make the paint
glide while I was sketching. Because Liquin dries com-
pletely in 24 hours, you don't have to worry about the
"fat over lean" rule. I know this is true. I've been doing
it for 30 years. This kind of painting is really fun.
Now I could use this painting for a grisaille underpainting
if I want, and go over it with transparent and opaque color, or,
I could just leave it as is. Painting is great, isn't it?
Thanks for visiting today.


Head of Herakles Chiaramonti

Oil Pastel over Charcoal on White Paper, 10" x 11" $100.00

I just felt like taking a small break from oil painting today
and working with my oil pastels. To do this I did charocal
drawing of Herakles first on white drawing paper. I got his
curls, and beard, and head ornamet and features all taken
care of, sort of like an underpainting. Then, I sprayed the
heck out of the drawing with fixative.

Next I took my Sennelier oil pastels, because I know them
to be bit transluscent. Using the lighter colors, plus some
blues, I went over my charcoal drawing, not trying to cover
it up so much, but to augment it. This was a fairly new experience
except for the other small athlete a few posts back. I like this
techniques, which I discovered by experiementing, and plan
on doing more with it.

Contrary to general knowledge, you can same your money.
You do not need to buy fixative for oil pastels. They dry, just
like oil paints. I know, I have pieces that are years old. I never
fixed them. They are dry. Period.