Monday, September 19, 2011

Step by step "Allure"

I thought it would be interesting to include a step by step. This painting is a 40x50 and it titled "Allure"

Step 1. Using the medium ( 1part stand oil, 1 part Damar Varnish, 5 parts triple rectified turp)
I washed ultramarine blue deep and cadmium orange to neutralize the value of the canvas and to create an interesting surface to work on.

Step 2. I was careful to suggest the layout of the figure and chair.

Step3. I then started to lay in the value and suggest color.

Step4. Now that I have established the darkest darks and lightest lights I can begin with the serious paint and go in for the drawing.

Step 5. I continue to block in value and color
Step6. Work on the face is finished

Step7. I use the work in the face as a guide of finish to move across the canvas.

Step8. I am now focused on color and edge

Step9. At this stage I completely repainted the face as I was not happy with the attitude and implied line of the head before. In this stage I am also experimenting with the background as I have no reference for it.

Step10. This is the final image. I ended up painting the background green to support the red chair. I also added the picture in the upper left and the open door or hall on the right of the canvas in order to help guide the eye and help the composition.
"Allure" 40x50 oil on canvas


  1. Thanks for sharing your process Casey, very interesting! Do you rely on mediums when you paint and if so what mixtures do you use throughout the painting process? Thanks again.

  2. Thanks for this Casey! Wondering what the surface of your painting is you tend to soften a lot so it's uniformly smooth, or do you build thicker paint in, say, the lights?

  3. Bryan,
    I tend to build up the paint in the lights. However, this is not a general rule. Often times I will build the paint up in mid tones or darks. I like to vary the thick and thin paint to my taste per painting.

  4. Interesting to see the way you kind of build the painting from unfocused to focus. When working on a painting like this can you do everything wet into wet or do you do wet into wet for small parts of the painting? I tend to use slower and slower mediums lately to have more time for wet into wet painting, but am running into trouble because of the differing drying times for each pigment...