Flower Pitcher

WFMartin

Well-known member
Messages
247
This is a painting for which I used my glazing method. I first painted a very accurate grisaille underpainting, over which I applied many very thin glazes of color. This never hung in my house, because when I entered it into a local art competition show, it sold. I believe the president of Midwestern University bought it, as she owns several of my works.

Pitcher_Flowers_Final.jpg

"Flower Pitcher".....16" x 20" oil on RayMar Linen Panel

I do have several work up photos if anyone would care to see the entire process that I use for painting flowers, and still-lifes.
 
Really a very beautiful painting and I'm not surprised that it sold.
Thanks, Sno. As I mentioned on another thread, I have seen so many really wonderful works of yours on this site that I don't remember ever having seen on Wet Canvas. You are an impressive artist, and I so appreciate your work!
 
I take that as a high compliment coming from you Bill, your florals are second to none.
 
Wow, this one is incredibly real. The shine on that pitcher is perfect. You have certainly mastered the art of glazing. I used to do still lifes with glazing but mine never looked that good. And the design and composition of this is also excellent.
 
Thanks to all of you for your nice comments. Musket, I will try to post the work-in-progress shots of this that I have available.

Pitcher_Flowers_01.jpg

This is the first stage, after completing my grisaille underpainting.

Pitcher_Flowers_02.jpg

My first application of color glaze. This is partially completed. The first stage appears rather like a hand-tinted photograph of the old days when they hand-colored sepia photos.

Pitcher_Flowers_03.jpg

The first glaze layer is nearly complete. Lots of the underpainting still shows through.

Pitcher_Flowers_04.jpg

This may have one, or two glaze layers on various areas of the painting. But,...I believe this represents the entire painting with ONE glaze layer having been applied to it.

Pitcher_Flowers_05.jpg

This has more glaze layers on it.

Pitcher_Flowers_06.jpg

Nearing completion with further glaze layers.

Pitcher_Flowers_Final.jpg

And, THIS is the final painting. It is difficult to state just how many glaze layers I use on any painting, because certain areas require more layers than others. I just keep applying more and more glaze layers, until I have built up the color to the depth that I want. To me, it is the results that is the goal, and not the actual number of glaze layers that are required to achieve it.

I was fortunate to have been able to find all the work-up photos that I took while I painted this. Hope that may offer some ideas to those who would like to try it. I primarily use THREE different methods of painting, each one depending upon what the subject is. For portraits, I use one method, for landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes I use another, and for still-lifes, and flower subjects, I use the method that I have indicated here.

Thanks for your interest. Anyway, that's how I do it!

Bill
 
Last edited:
Do you use a medium with your glazes, Bill?
Yes, I surely do, and it is one that I have engineered myself, after many years of tolerating commercial painting mediums that were more of a hinderance to my work than a help.

It all began a long time ago, when I became frustrated with my medium not behaving the way I wanted it to, and in my frustration, I literally "threw" some Walnut Oil into the mix in my medium cup that was attached to my palette, while I was painting . This desperate move so improved the characteristics of my medium that I decided to be a great deal more scientific about my recipe, and to measure, and to proportion out my ingredients in a very accurate manner..

I selected Walnut Oil as my slow-drying, slippery-feeling, less-yellowing, drying oil.

Then I chose Linseed Oil as my oil for providing a strong paint film, and a bit faster drying.

Because the application of plain medium directly to the surface of my dried underpainting often caused beading (trickling/pulling back) of my medium, I included a natural resin, and though I began with Venice Turpentine (Larch tree resin), I have now been using the much better, Canada Balsam.

I once tried Oil of Spike Lavender as the solvent, and was very impressed with it the first time I used it. It is more aggressive in its solvent action than Gum Spirits of Turpentine and MUCH more aggressive than Odorless Mineral Spirits. Oil of Spike "bites into" the surface of the dried underpainting, causing a more durable bond with the fresh paint, and also aiding the natural resin in preventing beading.

To use the medium, I apply a bit of it with a brush, and then I spread it out evenly, and very thinly, using either my fingertip, or a cosmetic sponge. There is barely enough to detect , once I have spread it out, but that is enough to use as a "lubricant" for the paint that I apply into it. I only condition a small area at a time with medium, and I apply paint into that application immediately, before it has an opportunity to tack up. The process of glazing is NOT the diluting of paint with huge volumes of clear painting medium, as some suggest. It is the use of a very small amount of painting medium, used more as a "lubricant" for the paint, than a s a "thinner", or "diluent" for the paint.

I do not use alkyd mediums, nor do I recommend them to anyone whom I consider to be a friend. Alkyds tack up much too fast, on the palette while being used, and they really don't actually dry much faster than more traditional mediums once they have been applied to the canvas. One should not have to "put up with", or "tolerate", or invent ways to "deal with" their painting medium. A painting medium should be one's right hand man, so to speak, and it should behave precisely as you want it to, for the work you are trying to accomplish.

This is the recipe for the best painting medium I've ever used. It took me a long time to settle on this recipe. The glazing, and layering process are an absolute dream when using this medium. It also smells quite wonderful, because of the Canada Balsam, and the Oil of Spike Lavender, although its smell turns some people away from it, I must admit.

2 portions Water-Washed Linseed Oil
2 portions Water-Washed Walnut Oil
1 portion Canada Balsam
2 portions Oil of Spike Lavender

I purchase all these ingredients from "The Art Treehouse" operated by Robert Maynord. I also buy many of his paints that are ground in Walnut Oil. I just like the way they behave. His prices for medium ingredients are so reasonable, I am able to purchase a bit better version of drying oils, that are water-washed, than I would be otherwise.

Hope that answers your questions. Sorry, I got a little long-winded, but I am absolutely SOLD on my "private painting medium".
 
Last edited:
Wow Bill. Thank you for sharing all of that. That's fascinating. I was expecting something different, but you have a formula that's quite complicated. I thought you were using Liquin or something more basic, but you have found a great complex technique for yourself that works brilliantly. It's really cool to read about it all and see the work in progress. Thank you for telling us your magic secrets. ;)
 
The texture on this is really impressive! Love the contrast between the soft matte rose petals and shiny glazed pitcher. Also nice to see each phase of creation and the technique involved.
 
I'm familiar with all of the ingredients in your medium, Bill, and unsurprised by any of them.

Your method sounds very similar to the one advocated by that old devil Rob Howard, the bane of WC, who used to run the Cennini Forum, which appears to be gone. I always enjoyed visiting that place.

I used oils for only a few of my bird carvings, but when I did I used a medium of walnut oil, Canada balsam, Oil of Spike and, at Robert Doak's suggestion, fumed silica as a flatting agent. Worked very well.

Have you found walnut oil based paints relatively slow to dry compared to linseed?
 
Last edited:
I'm familiar with all of the ingredients in your medium, Bill, and unsurprised by any of them.

Your method sounds very similar to the one advocated by that old devil Rob Howard, the bane of WC, who used to run the Cennini Forum, which appears to be gone. I always enjoyed visiting that place.

I used oils for only a few of my bird carvings, but when I did I used a medium of walnut oil, Canada balsam, Oil of Spike and, at Robert Doak's suggestion, fumed silica as a flatting agent. Worked very well.

Have you found walnut oil based paints relatively slow to dry compared to linseed?

That "old devil, Rob Howard" and I became quite good friends at one time, but I have not talked to him in several years, now. It was he who inspired my "Progressive Focus Method" for painting portraits, and when he still had his Cennini Site up, I had an article on it regarding my method. His Cennini Forum has been down for several years. Rob and I are almost exactly the same age, give or take two or three days, as I recall.

I enjoy paints whose binder is Walnut oil because of the slipperiness of application, and I also appreciate a bit slower drying, although the difference between Linseed, and Walnut Oils in drying time is not really that much different.
 
Back
Top