Posts Tagged ‘Oil’


Alphons Mucha “The Slav Epic” Paintings

October 24, 2016


These are a few high resolution photos from a set that my friend, Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr., took recently on his trip to Prague. They are three of a group of twenty paintings made by Alphons Mucha, called the Slav Epic.


The paintings are huge canvases, reaching up to about 20 feet wide. The medium is described as egg tempera mixed with oil, which is also known as “tempera grassa.” This medium works best with the technique he used to apply the paint.


One of the surprising revelations to me from these was how he painted large gradient areas as dabs of broken color. In reproductions I have seen of them, I’d always assumed that to be the texture of the paint, but the paint is actually quite thin. Instead he mixed the different shades and tones by hand, and applied them as thin brush strokes of dappled paint, most notable in the large skies. Coincidentally, I’ve found that when painting with an oil and casein emulsion, this is often the best way to work with the paint, rather than trying to blend large areas together. If you want it to look smoother, you can go back over it with a fatter oily layer.


Jim photographed all of the paintings and placed them on his Facebook page. There you can also see close up details.



Painting Finished: Filing Her Nails

August 2, 2016

Here’s the final version of the painting; although, I still need to touch up a few edges. I might also brighten up the whiter areas once the paint dries.


I made her head a shade darker to read better against the white curtain behind her. In these closeups you can see how lean the paint is.




Painting Update 3: Filing Her Nails

July 31, 2016

Well, I had an interesting couple of days. My master drive crashed on my old computer, so I’ve been trying to recover everything on a new machine. Fortunately, I managed to get most of everything up and running, and this is the state of the painting before all that happened.


Still have much more to do on it. Maybe I can get some painting time in today. It helps me get away from all that left brain activity.


Painting Update 2: Filing Her Nails

July 24, 2016

I was planning on getting further along on this today, but then the air conditioner decided to stop working in the studio, so I think I’ll wait for tomorrow’s repairs before continuing.


Hope you can get a sense of where it’s going at least by how I’ve worked the bottom half of the background so far. I’m concentrating on shapes and edges, and keeping the color saturation up. Should get the rest of the background done in a cooler workplace soon.


Painting Update: Filing Her Nails

July 19, 2016

Playing around with the new painting, adding some more modeling to her dress.


The brand of oil I’m using is Le Franc (orange and red ochre,) which is a little more oily than some other brands. That helps me keep loose brush strokes, and easier to remove paint to the lighter value beneath for the highlights on the dress without adding more medium. I’m also using a Winsor & Newton Naples Yellow to dull down the orange some.



Painting Sketch: Filing Her Nails

July 15, 2016

This was going to be just a monochromatic sketch with oil paint, but I’m now thinking I’ll take it a little further into a more finished piece, at least adding some more color.


It’s from on an old photo I took of my friend, Valerie, as she sat filing her nails. The background is all made up. I’m using a red ochre and naples yellow oil paint, thinned with casein medium. The surface is a canvas sheet, with acrylic ground, 12 x 9″.


Painting Final: Channel Surfing

March 6, 2016


I added a little more modeling to her front forearm, and made a few other small tweaks, so I’m going to call this one finished. (9 x 12 ” oil on drafting film)



The oil medium I used for this was a mixture of some oil (Winsor & Newton Refined Linseed) with a casein medium of my own making. Although the medium is quite fluid, I wouldn’t describe it as thin, since there’s no solvent used other than the water in the casein. This mixture usually dries fast, but on this drafting film surface it takes an extra day or two. The only brushes used were a #3 Round and #0 Round.