Abstract 001 – Pushing Buttons
©2015 Dave Casey
24×18″ – oil on stretched canvas
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I just finished this abstract painting I was doing for a continuing education class. The class deals with painting in the style of the old masters, specifically in the use of grisaille under-painting. Granted, Rembrandt probably never painting a painting looking like this, but the technique was still the same.
I started off with a black and white painting on heavy duty canvas and followed that with a thin wash of burnt sienna over the whole canvas. After a second wash of burnt sienna and a restating of the shadows with a thicker layer of that same paint, it was time to start introducing some color to the palette.
There are places where the color layers are six or seven layers thick and a mix of various colors. All the colors were transparent, allowing for this layering. This also allows for one layer to “mix” with a previous layer without actually mixing with it. So, putting down a layer of indian yellow and letting it dry, then putting a thin layer of ultramarine blue over that gives a nice, rich green without there being any real green on the canvas. It’s because the light shines down through the layers of paint and then bounces off the white canvas underneath it all and bounces back to our eyes. So the mixing of the two layers takes place in our eyes and not on the canvas itself.
All I have left to do is varnish the painting in a couple of days and paint the sides black. I need to remember to get some really good photos before I apply the varnish.