How do I paint? In this two part article I will
share to you how I develop a painting.
The piece I will be using as an example is part of
my exhibit in November at SM Calamba. I won’t divulge the title but it is a rice
painting even if it doesn’t look like one.
Hope you can guess the title once the painting is
After deciding what to paint, I do my concept on a
sketch pad. Normally, I use the Rule of Thirds as my guiding principle in
figuring out where images will be placed. I redraw the image directly on canvas
using a 2H graphite pencil. The hardness
of the pencil doesn’t create a dark black line on the canvas and it can be
easily covered by paint. I am using
acrylic in this painting. Painting size is 24 inches by 30 inches.
|Sketch and underpaint. At this
point no brushes were used. I used an ordinary sponge to make the underpainting.
There is no fear in overshooting an outline or messing it up since most will be
In the image above you can still see my pencil
lines and I’ve also used Burnt Sienna to create my underpainting. You can use
other colors to underpaint depending on the mood you want to set in a painting.
Now why do I under paint? Some artists prefer to paint directly with no
underpainting but I prefer this method for the following
It gives you an idea
where you will put the dark and light tones.
It removes the stark
white canvas that can show through if you missed some difficult
Some of the Burnt Sienna
will peek through the overpaint and this creates a nice contrast or
complementary effect to your painting.
It provides for an
immediate change in color hues and tones when you apply a wash, thin or a not
overly opaque paint over it.
It sets an additional
mood to your painting. What do I mean? Well, you can decide between a warm or
cool mood in a painting. Warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) will give warm
paintings and cool colors (blues, greens, pinks) will give you obviously a cool
mood. But you can of course use a warm underpaint in a cool painting and vice
versa. Art is flexible.
|Painting in the background
In this next
image, after 6 hours I think, I’ve painted in the dirt street, painstakingly
painted the rice and maybe ¾ of the blue denim jacket. Remember I am not a
realism painter hence I try not to be so detailed in all the things in the
painting. I like to cross pop art and impressionism although I know I can paint
realistically if I wanted to.
Filling in the colors and
details. I usually paint midtones first. The midtone is the color between your
shadow and highlight. I used dry brush technique exclusively so far. I do not
add any paint medium to my acrylic paint. Marcel Antonio, a popular Filipino
artist, takes dry brushing to a whole new level. I consider him as one of the
For the dirt street notice that I painted it dark
colors on the bottom then light colors on top – this creates an effect of
distance and light source.
The figure I’m painting is the quintessential
Filipino action hero. Here you see a
square-jawed man with sideburns wearing a jacket. He has a thick neck, broad shoulders and is a
mestizo. Sounds familiar? Could be him
or also not. Depends on how you see it.
In this picture, after another 2 hours, I’ve
finished the jacket except for the brass buttons. I’ve also worked on his face.
I’ve decided to change his right hand position and keep it on his side rather
than grasping the plastic bag with rice. I decided that I wanted him to have
some separation from the rice on sale.
This I think provided an additional clue to the title of the
More details filled in. I will
rework the lips since I find it too small.
The colors I used so far are the
Lemon Yellow (Where?!)
Yellow plus grey/black creates a greenish/grey color. I used that on the stalls
in the background.
Purple Red (Where?!) All
my figures have this hair color (including eyebrows, eyelashes etc) instead of
Violet (Where?) I never
use black and instead I use violet.
Rose (where?!) Mixed
with Burnt Sienna and Flesh Tone for the skin.
Pthalocyanine Blue (my
Notice that the effect of the colors at this stage
is quite somber. That is on purpose. This obviously is not a bright and sunny
painting. I usually do paint bright pieces. In this one I wanted to create a
cool mood. Burnt Sienna is quite neutral
and could work both for warm or cool pieces.
Stay tuned for Part 2…