Category Archives: Technique

Portrait of Dan

I finished this in February, but have only just got round to making this short film.

It’s just a selection of stills taken of me painting a portrait in acrylic on canvas. I was trying out some techniques I’d not used before – like a mid grey undercoat as Holbein used when painting The Ambassadors. I thought I might try letting the base coat show through in some of the highlighting. But as it turned out I painted over practically all the surface.

Also I’d been looking at polychrome work and Estofado – the process of layering of gold leaf and then paint particularly on sculptures made of wood. They would reveal the gold leaf by scratching the top layer of paint off. The polychromer can scratch or scrape the design off the reveal the gold underneath.

As well as scratching it off I’d heard the gold leaf was used under paintings to help make the painting itself glow – especially the flesh tones. So I  tried that too. I think it did work. There was a finish to the facial area that felt more vibrant. The final picture. Click on it to get a close up of the detail.

Dan: portrait in acrylic

Video Music: Daydream by Danny Sharp

Tell me what you think.

Pop Art Tutorial

There are many Photoshop tutorials out there with help on creating different finishes and effects. This one whizzes through one way of creating a Pop Art image.

The video

I like the way he demonstrates very quickly with no messing around. You do have to watch his cursor closely to see precisely what he’s clicking on, because he doesn’t always tell you. But I have made quick notes to support this video which you can have to one side as well, whilst you chose your own image and work your way through the process. Give it a go – if you’ve got Photoshop that is.

Continue reading Pop Art Tutorial

Stuck In Customs

Just spent thStuck In Customse morning devouring articles from this site. Was blown away by the dynamic header and the amount of valuable desktop space it took up. Trey Ratcliff is heavily into HDR or High Dynamic Range photography. How to create that memory of a scene the way you remember it and yet your photographs so often disappoint after. As Mr. Ratcliff says in his tutorial…

“Cameras, by their basic-machine-nature, are very good at capturing “images”, lines, shadows, shapes — but they are not good at capturing a scene the way the mind remembers and maps it. When you are actually there on the scene, your eye travels back and forth, letting in more light in some areas, less light in others, and you create a “patchwork-quilt” of the scene. Furthermore, you will tie in many emotions and feelings into the imagery as well, and those get associated right there beside the scene. Now, you will find that as you explore the HDR process, that photos can start to evoke those deep memories and emotions in a more tangible way. It’s really a wonderful way of “tricking” your brain into experiencing much more than a normal photograph.”

Click here to visit Stuck In Customs. 4th on Lake Austin Trey Ratcliff

Trey has range of cameras he recommends for this sort of work. He’s a bit of a Nikon man. He starts with  the Canon G11 and then works up through an increasingly more expensive but beautiful selection of Nikons, ending with the model he uses. If you want to see the full article and why he likes them, click here. The cameras  themselves can be seen below if you fancy buying one.

Caravaggio and Camera Obscura

CaravaggioArtistic genius Caravaggio, used a primitive form of photography to help create his masterpieces, said two art experts, Susan Grundy and Roberta Lapucci.  Their research at a workshop in Florence, revealed that Caravaggio probably converted his entire studio into a camera obscura in order to project images onto his canvas. The painter then used his own compound made of mercury, salt and Venetian ceruse, a popular lead-based cosmetic skin-lightener, in order to temporarily ”fix” the images on the canvas. This produced a short-lived, fluorescent image, similar to a photograph, which he was then able to convert into a permanent sketch that formed the basis of the eventual painting. Continue reading Caravaggio and Camera Obscura

Encaustic Painting

Fayum Lady 100ADPeter Sinai-600ADHad never heard of this! A very old and intermittently re-found technique which uses bees wax and pigments to paint or model paint with. The bees wax has to be heated so it can be manipulated. It seems it was first used for Egyptian mummies – but looking at the style of these paintings – with a more Romanesque style.

People near

Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts

will be able to see demonstrations of this strange technique at their Arts Festival this weekend.