December 16, 2009

Working on Black V

I've been working on refining the drawing in this painting, getting the parts in the right place and at the correct proportion. I've also laid down several layers of blue paint, building a solid base for later glazes and scumbles of color. The blue pigment that is the primary color in this work is Manganese Blue, and is quite translucent; because of this quality, I mix the manganese with white to make it more opaque. I can later glaze a darker blue on top of the opaque layers. I've also used Ultramarine Blue, which is a more purple color, for the shadow edges and the darks in the lower part of the painting. As you can see in the details below, the brushwork is still quite loose and open; it will be refined as the work progresses.

A main challenge in this painting is getting the sense of a curved volume of blue; the shape is a cylinder, the curve pointed out by the line at the left of the panel and the movement of the black shapes. The value and color change in the blue should also enhance the illusion of a curved form, which I have to keep in mind as I work. I always enjoy this bit of struggle, of tussle with material and with form, during the process of painting.


  1. The way you explain things makes me want to pick up my brush and paint along with you! I am truly enjoying following your progress!

  2. I'm so glad you like my "in progress" posts. Another interesting challenge for me has been articulating my working process.

  3. beautiful blue in this painting. i like the composition too!
    best wishes,

  4. thanks, Sophie. I just finished the painting and will post on it tomorrow.