Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mom and Daughter share a coffee at Starbucks


6x6 Oil on Canvas
I can't say how many times I repainted this picture. I just couldn't get it. First I started the painting by sketching and then painting the dark values and coating the surface with transparent red oxide. I couldn't keep the darks dark and I hated the picture. Then I decided to try  a black underpainting a la Karin Jurick .(I have so much respect for her ability to capture so many great scenes. I had to ask these two ladies if I could take their photo.) When you start with black, you sketch in the image and start painting from there. I'm not sure if I like this painting yet, but at least it doesn't look like the dogs breakfast :) Also, keeping things "loose" can be difficult and frustrating.
Question for you: Does anyone paint on a black undercoat? What do you think of the process involved?

10 comments:

Janelle Goodwin said...

I think this painting is magnificent! I've never tried painting with a black undercoat, but from viewing this painting, maybe this process ties it all together. I love the bright light shining through the window, the casual poses and the shadows. Wonderful, Catherine!

Last Cup Of Coffee said...

Sorry CJ I have no answers but I thought that the painting is coming out very lovely. I love the way the light is shimmering over the images. I also love what seems to be complementary violet tones. I think that once you finish and step away from it for a while you will see that it is a fabulous painting!

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Thanks for the positive comments Janelle and Myra. And yes, Myra (very perceptive of you) I used some diox violet mixed with various colors for skin and shadow tones.

Diana Marshall said...

Hi Catherine,
There is a YouTube video from Karin Jurick where she paints on black, I found it very illuminating. I paint sometimes on masonite coated in black gesso the surface is very slick, I use flat synthetic brushes to paint on it, bristle brushes tend to take more paint off than put on. Hope this is helpful!

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Thanks Diana. I just watched the Karin Jurick video. She makes it look so easy! Interesting how she puts in the lightest values right away and works from there. Also, she seems to finish an area first, then go on to another area. I've always tried to work on the whole picture at once. It makes me want to start over and have another go at it.

magicmyst said...

I am amazed at the range of subjects that you do so well. I don't paint in oils very much and have never tried painting black first but lately I have been doing most of my pastels on black paper. It seems to help make the lights bright and the darks very dark. Kay

splynch said...

I have occasionally painted on black. I find it useful when the subject contains a lot of contrast or when the background is very dark. Then I try to think in terms of painting with light. Rather than painting shadows, you are painting the light that creates the shadows. Your mother and daughter are lovely. I sketch in Starbucks quite a lot but have never tried to work one up into a painting.

Mary Anne Cary said...

This is a great job Catherine. I especially like the shadows and light on the face. I have and do like working on black. It came a little naturally for me, because I do use black paper sometimes for pastels. I think it does make the colors really stand out as you are painting and makes you think a little differently about how you use color.

Tammy Hext said...

Hi Catherine - I love this painting. I think my favourite bit is the reflection on the table in the foreground. I do paint on a black surface sometimes - my painting you saw at Sunrise Gallery was done that way. I think it gives a painting a glow when you put the lights over that black ground. Happy painting - lets meet for a Tim Horton's sometime!

Mike Barr said...

I think the black undercoat is a great idea.. i have done paintings of bright beachscapes that have had very dark undercoats..and it works amazingly well..
all my figures in paintings are done as dark silhouettes first then painting in with colour and tone..works well..