Adding to Your Library of Knowledge


Workshop Question:
Why do you use transparent paint with a mixture of odorless mineral spirits and alkyd based medium to start your paintings?

Why break down opaque paint when I have paint formulated to be transparent? The small amount of alkyd helps the paint set up on the canvas readily taking the next layer of paint. The bond created between the pigment and the canvas is stronger than thinning the paint with solvent alone. The under painting glows instead of becoming chalking looking when it dries. If I cannot get to painting the next layer. . .I still have the composition ready to go in the field the next day or the studio. The painting featured was painted with transparent pigments to start. I used transparent yellow oxide, ultramarine blue, quinacridone violet, quinacridone red, and viridian. There may also be a touch of a transparent red oxide. 

When I'm ready for opaque paint, I can add white or another opaque paint to change the paint from transparent to opaque.

This painting is featured as a transparent example in my book
Oil Painter's Solution Book, Landscapes, page 128-129. Following is the progression from location work to the completed painting. The painting was completed in the studio. It was more than a 4 day painting.... the studio work is where the layers were built up and the colors adjusted. It is SO important to me to use the same pigments while these large paintings develop. More on that in another blog post.

Day One on Location
Under painting 26 x 30 oil primed linen canvas 
Page 129

Day Two on location

Day 3 on Location 

Winter on Hollister Peak,  Private Collection