Research – Oil painting techniques
Everything I learn I question
Historical oil painting techniques are extremely complex in terms of historical development, art theory and application. Numerous groundbreaking techniques were invented and developed during Western Art History that are seldom taught or thoroughly investigated.
The knowledge to create optical complexity and technically sound work is at times compromised with theoretical concern. Whilst I believe, the two are indispensable unless the actual objective is to create ephemeral works.
Mastering this technique is a life long endeavour. Having this knowledge allows me to experiment with numerous possibilities. My goal as a contemporary artist is to create innovative techniques that reveal the optical complexity of oil painting.
My traditional oil painting technique employs Old and New Masters. I utilise Caravaggio’s technique for the first 3 layers then switch to Daniel E. Greene’s comprehensive flesh palette derived from the Old Masters.
Areas of investigation
- Impasto vs. Transparent glazing
- Saturation vs. Neutral
- Cool vs. Warm
- Convert black to white tonal range, analyse all the subtle grey variations and convert them to the colour temperature I wish to express.
I am researching the above with the clear objective to formulate new developments and technical processes with contemporary mediums.
Inspired by Velasquez's virtuosity, I aspire to assimilate the very best of artistic tradition and to leave my own unmistakable and highly personal mark. As explained by art critique & historian Robert Hughes, "To use what was old in a new way … didn't think in terms of 'copying' antiquity…Rather one (artists) sought and understood its principles grasped its essence and brought that forward into the present". [American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America, Pg 69]
Practice without theory is blind; theory without practice is lame. Albert Einstein.
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