How an Artist thinks: The Making of a Painting

Making a painting under the microscope 1 Making a painting under the microscope 2
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1.Starting the paintings: Glazes of Primary colours (hues)

First we painted two thin glazes (washes) of transparent primary hues, letting each layer dry first.
Then we added thin layers of paint and lifted up the canvas up so it dripped across the paintings.
Photographs on the left show the complete canvas. Photographs on the right (or they may show below)
show the paint effect under the microscope.

2. Transparency and secondary hues:

Using thin glazes of primary colours we are building up a rich variety of secondary colours.
We now have many shades of purples, greens and oranges.
We can see secondary colours because we can see through the layers of transparent paint
to the layers underneath.
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3. Adding opaque colours

We put on some thicker layers of primary colours and flicking and dripping paint as well.
The colours are beginning to get deeper and richer.
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4.Colour depth and texture from the canvas

The microscope shows how the paint pools in the hollows of the canvas weave.
This gives the paint pools a different colour intensity and gives the painting a feeling of depth and texture.
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5. More opaque colours and defining some shapes

We added more opaque colours, brushed on more thickly this time. Adding white to a hue makes a tint, adding black makes a shade.
We also spattered some thinner colours to soften the effect.
We used the opaque colours to outline some interesting shapes which gave a feeling structure to the painting.


6.Transparent paint over opaque paint

We painted on even more opaque paint and added some areas of thinner paint. Some of the colours look a bit 'muddy',
so we had to decide which areas to leave untouched and where we need more colour.
Then we added a border.....


Painting 1 finished!


Painting 2 finished!