3 Essential Artist’s Tips
Before jumping into my approach of this stunning Percheron Stallion named Peanut, I thought I’d share with you three artist’s tips addressing three essential materials, and my paramount indulgence.
Essential #1 – the right stuff
I first treat myself to a luxurious cup of chemex coffee. The Chemex coffee maker is the way the coffee is brewed, leaving nothing but a smooth, strong, irresistible black cup of coffee.
My current favorite roast is Peet’s Sumatra blend.
Essential #2 – the right brushes
While sipping this deliciousity I grab my first weapon of choice. Typically a bristle brush, occasionally a pencil. One of my favorite brand of bristle brushes are the Silver Brush Grand Prix Hog Bristle Paint Brushes.
I keep my brushes in shape by cleaning them thoroughly after painting, and tying them with thread to maintain their shape.
Essential #3 – the right palette knives
When applicable, I really enjoy incorporating the use of palette knife work into my more textural, bolder paintings. I use a variety of different edges in my palette knives. My favorite knife to work with has one straight edge, and one curved edge. It’s important to have a good bounce (typically) to your palette knife. The cheep plastic palette knives are barely worthy of cleaning your palette.
Now, on to the painting of Peanut. For this stunning Percheron, I began with an underpainting to tone the canvas using a combo of Linseed Oil, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, (or Raw Umber) and a hint of Cadmium Orange to bring out the warmth. After the underpainting is all set I pencilled in a quick sketch of the running horse.
To Palette Knife
After using brush strokes to depict the energy and movement of this majestic Percheron horse, I used a palette knife to highlight the depth of his beautiful flowing mane. Working from warm under layers of paint, I often work wet into wet. Other times I need to wait for layers of paint to dry before laying in some of the final textural/movement strokes.
Line Work & Brush Strokes
With a sleek yet powerful horse like this I was able to accent its energy with variation of both bold brushstrokes, and line as you see here in his front leg.
Again, playing with hard and soft edges.
Letting the soft edges show movement in the tail, and back leg, while bolder placed brush strokes highlight his strong muscles in his back end.
When do you know a painting is actually finished?
This is a common question, and an important one too! Before a brush touches the canvas, I study the subject and look at the blank canvas. I visualize what I want the painting to look like, and how I want it to represent the subject, what the overall tone and mood should be, and how I will approach it. This is not a mathematical equation, or a stringent set of rules, but rather a feeling. It comes with understanding your process, and your paints, and then you’re freed to tailor it to your individual subject!
So, to answer the question. I know I’ve finished the painting when it looks like what I set out to paint in the beginning. When it fulfills my original feeling, and expectation when I set the first brushstroke on the canvas–THAT is when I know it’s finish!
Thank you for stopping by to see this tutorial on Oil Painting! If you’re new to Jaché Studio you can view more oil paintings at www.jachestudio.com.
Feel free to join us on facebook, and if you’re also an owner of a gorgeous horse, or adorable pet be sure to enter a photo in our Cutest Pet of the Month Contest and THEY could be the next Jaché Studio model for a painting!