I began a series of oil copies of a hand painted by Velasquez in order to clarify to myself some of the different technical approaches I am aware of. I chose the hand because I wanted something I thought I could paint five times without going crazy. I also wanted to start all five with the same cartoon transfer so they would start out with the same exact drawing. Next time I do something like this, I will work from a very simple object from life. It was, perhaps, not a fair set-up because it may have limited color interpretations and textural interpretations. The other difficulty is that of labeling the techniques. I settled upon labeling them with a broadly understood term or the great painter that I associate with the technique. Another limitation I ran into is that, really, this is a "first" painting. There wasn't much visual information to go beyond that.
Labels and Working Distinctions
Van Dyck and oftentimes my familiar method: Transparent shadows first in Raw Umber and when dry, underpaint thick lights with Flake White.
Grissaille: Opaque underpainting, mixing Raw Umber (some use a warm black or green earth) with Flake White on the palette and painting a covering layer lighter in value than it will need to be later on.
Academic Method/Ingres: Greater care given to line and an opaque dead color stage for an underpainting.
Rubens: Transparent shadows, cools and warms kept in separate layers and on separate brushes.
Assael: Start with opaque and higher chroma midtones and build lights and darks into them. Sculpting very thick highlights.
All grounds are Claessens 13SP (single-primed)
Van Dyck: White ground
Grisaille: White ground
Academic/Ingres: White ground
Rubens: Gray toned
Assael: Venetian Red toned
See Image 2
Before Day 1.....In order to keep things similar from the beginning, I transferred charcoal drawings onto each canvas. However, below I pretend that I am working from life and describe what I did each day under typical working conditions. Remember this is a very simple, small subject and it would take more days at the later stages for more complex paintings.
The Subject: Image 1
The Grounds: Image 2 Rubens
The Grounds: Image 2 Assael
The Grounds: Image 2: All other grounds remained white