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 How to paint a still life with wine in multi-layer painting - the First part

Greetings, friends and lovers of painting!

Have you noticed that the theme of still lifes in painting always remains relevant among artists? And of course, many people are happy to buy paintings with different still lifes. In this article I would like to share the full process of working on a painting and tell how I wrote a still life with wine in a multilayer technique.

A lot of novice artists are asking the question "How to paint with oil in a multi-layered painting technique, where to start and what are the main stages of work?" Friends, I decided to share my experience in this technique and my story will be released in three parts. Unfortunately, the process will be long, but I will try to describe it in detail with a photo report.

It took me about 3 months to work on the painting, but I hope that I haven’t missed anything important and everything will be clear and accessible. Immediately, I note that this version of the approach to working in the glazing technique is different from the methods that the old masters used.

But for the sake of experience, it is worth trying different versions for one simple reason that experimenting is very necessary and even useful! After all, painting is alive, do not forget about it!

As an example for a still life in multilayer technology, I took the finished composition of the Hungarian artist Gabor Toth. I will say that in my work I avoid copying and prefer my compositional ideas and finds. In addition, what could be more interesting than his artistic approach to painting?

Of course, the process of teaching still life traditionally begins with copying. This is an integral part of the knowledge of the canons of painting and instilling artistic taste. If you studied at an art school, you probably remember how they teach to compose objects in compositions, given their size, color and shape.

A few of these classes are enough, and you already compose your own compositions for still lifes. Well, when you “beat” your hand and eye, that is, the eye, you can and should put your compositions, and experiment with shades in colors. Well, my creative fantasy continually breaks out with the desire to add my own special notes to the picture. Improvisation, in a word!

The wise thinker and philosopher Confucius said: “Three paths lead to knowledge: the path of reflection is the noblest path, the path of imitation is the easiest and the path of experience is the most bitter”

These three paths are familiar to each of us, we went through them. Well, then everyone chooses for himself only one. I follow the path of reflection, fantasizing and inventing - this is my creative element! Based on this, I believe that you can develop creative skills and imagination only with your own compositions!

Friends, I do not set the goal of copying the picture, rather, it will turn out a free copy. The purpose of the article is to share with you the stages of the work of painting in multilayer technology. Looking ahead, I’ll say that I still won’t be able to write a 100% copy of the picture because of a number of reasons: color reproduction and tonality from the monitor screen, insufficient image resolution, possible change in color shades from the monitor ... Therefore, I will leave the similarity only to 70%, this will be enough. Please note that I intentionally left the background in warm brown tones in time with the color of the lower drawer.

In the photo - on the left is the original picture, on the right a free copy in my performance

Above the picture, I also imagined a little! As they say, find 8 differences! I changed the composition to my taste: I “turned” the bottle a little with a label to the viewer, added more grapes, changed the shape of the glass, added a drawer with a decorative handle at the bottom of the dresser ...

The whole process of working on a painting using multi-layer painting technique, with glaze, involves several stages. Each stage involves the complete drying of the painting layer for approximately 1.5-2 weeks. Therefore, be patient, writing will take a long time!

Immediately reassure you, the process is so fascinating and interesting that it is completely addictive! Multilayer painting has its own subtleties and charms, for example, the depth and richness of colors, which we do not observe in other oil painting techniques!

So, the materials for stage I, II and III in a still life:

- Canvas. I have a canvas size of 55 * 46 cm. You choose the format that is more familiar with working on. The canvas material is preferably flax, fine-grained or medium-grained.

Note: for multilayer painting, canvases with smooth surfaces are best suited. On them, the glazes lie flat, the brush does not “cling” to the texture of the canvas. Once I wrote about the choice of canvases, and which ones are better. Read, perhaps you did not pay attention to this important point earlier.

—Flaxseed oil will be needed to smear the canvas before work and to dilute and thin the paint. And also we need a tee. A little later I will switch to it.

- Soft synthetic brushes, flat, 2-3 different sizes, 1 round

-Acrylic brown paint

- Oil paints:
natural ocher or yellow ocher
titanium white
burnt umber or natural umber

- Sponge, Napkins.
- Palette (I use disposable plates)

 First stage of work
Transfer the drawing to the canvas. How to do it? You can draw by hand, this is if you have drawing skills and a good eye. It’s difficult by hand, so transfer the drawing in the cells. By the way, this is a long-standing way to transfer, reduce or enlarge a drawing, and even professional artists use it! And you can use tracing paper or carbon paper ...

In any case, try not to get too much dirt on the canvas from a pencil or carbon paper. If you are an inexperienced draftsman, you risk damaging the surface of the canvas with numerous lines or scuffs from the eraser. Learn to work clean! Frankly, I drew by hand and did not try well enough, so the lines from the pencil are visible in places on my canvas.

Fix the picture/ image /with brown acrylic paint. For this purpose, you can apply a light gray color, let the acrylic dry for about an hour. Take your time and do not ignore the drying out, as the acrylic will simply be smeared.

I know from my own experience, because once, in order to save time, I made imprimatur acrylic, according to a fresh, freshly circled picture with acrylic paints. And under the brush all my work began to disappear, turning into dirt!

Second stage of work
We tint the canvas with oil paints, make an imprimatura. This is a colored substrate that overlaps the white color of the canvas and simplifies further work on the painting using multi-layer oil painting.

Note: The substrate (imprimatura) can be from light yellow to light brown shades, depending on the tonality of the picture. In this work, I used natural ocher for tinting the canvas, but it was also possible to use yellow ocher.

I note that it would be more correct to let the imprimatura dry completely (about two weeks) before proceeding with the registration of light and dark places in the picture. For example, to make the background more interesting, they write immediately on raw imprimatura. Such a method also takes place in a multilayer oil painting technique.

The third stage of work on a still life with wine
I connected the second and third stage of work in one session, that is, they were written on the same day. Although it would be more correct to write them separately from each other with intermediate drying. At this stage, you need to point out the darkest and brightest places in the picture, using white and burnt umber. In the photo below, look how using finger pads you can make an interesting texture! Such a fingerprint can only be obtained by raw imprimatura!

You can also get a complicated background if you apply paint with a sponge. By the way, the sponge perfectly shades the paint. As you understand, here I am improvising a bit!

Consider carefully the photo with the original picture as far as the resolution of your screen allows you. The third stage of the multi-layer painting technique is important, as it is essentially the “foundation” of light and dark places in the picture.

To better see chiaroscuro, set the image to black and white. This will greatly simplify the work, and the puzzle of parsing the picture into light and dark places will be much nicer and easier. For example, the darkest places are the upper right corner, the bottom of the picture, in some places the cavity of the bottle, falling shadows, grapes in the background. In place of the brightest places, you can remove ocher with a cloth and apply pure titanium white, for example, wine in a glass, bright places on grape leaves, glare on a bottle.

Note: Many artists make an imprimatura with acrylic paint. It dries quickly and on the same day, on the finished dry surface, you can proceed to the third stage. By the way, the old masters, too, were cunning in order to save time and often made imprimatura tempera, or even ... watercolor paints! And the bolder painters and chiaroscuro also painted with tempera or watercolor.

You say how is it that watercolor does not hold well and is painted on canvas? This is so, but I remind you that painters began to use canvas from the 16th century. Until then, wood was used as the basis for painting, and surface treatment for oil painting looked different. Therefore, the watercolor lay well and kept on a wooden surface.

Even before oil paints became popular, they painted with tempera (a pigment diluted with water and chicken yolk). This paint has been painted for more than 3000 years, right up to oil painting. In the photo below, I am considering a painting by a master of the early 16th century, painted by tempera on a wooden panel. I’ll say that it’s useful to go to museums and exhibitions from time to time, because this is one of the ways to replenish knowledge in a piggy bank, as well as to create your own taste!

Leave the picture to dry for about two weeks. The operating time for the second and third stage is approximately 2-2.5 hours.

Unfortunately, the photo camera does not transmit all the tint in the original, especially places with shading spots. The continuation of my story read in the second part

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