Corinthian – Part 1

Demonstrating perfect posture ... for spina bifida.

Demonstrating perfect posture … for a vulture with spina bifida.

I’ve been experimenting with oils recently and enjoying the results. In a lot of ways it’s more manageable than watercolours and inks. For instance it is more forgiving with corrections and I like working from dark to light for a change. Sketching directly onto gesso-primed MDF board felt more effective than stretched canvas (though I might try it in future, the criss-cross texture can be troublesome to draw on). I sprayed them with generous layers of matt fixative to seal the graphite from smudging, then using a piece of card I squeegeed a coat of acrylic matte medium to seal the sketch from the oil paint.


Imprimatura – establishing the initial tonal range.

Using a rough mix of neutral grey, raw sienna and plain white acrylic paint I scrubbed in a tonal underlay, imprimatura, and waited for it to dry, wiping back the excess with paper towel. An accidental effect I liked was how the darker paint seemed to stay in the recesses left by the acrylic matte medium, with the lighter paint on the raised areas.

Blocking in the background.

Blocking in the background.

I chose to block in the sky around the warrior’s head first. Beneath the fairly light blue of the sky is a reddish-pink lay-in colour, to off-set the coolness of the blue given the rest of the image will be comprised of warm browns, sepias and maroon.

The crest and burnt umber base of the helmet and cloak.

The crest and burnt umber base of the helmet and cloak.

Next I’ll try to introduce a little bit of green to the shadows of the helmet, to offset the brown overload.


About Loukash

Artist & Illustrator.
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