16 x 16 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
Very different from my usual more direct, "alla prima" approach, this one was started with a board covered in grey gesso ( actually a gessoboard panel that is on top of a 2 inch deep frame for a gallery wrap type effect- you can buy these pre-made in the art supply store).
After that I painted out the darkest shapes with a black acrylic underpainting, then added the lightest shapes with a white acrylic underpainting. so the net effect is all the midtones are the original grey showing thru. This is sometimes referred to as a grisalle- a monochromatic value pattern underpainting.
Once that all dried, I started developing the flower starting with a petal and then moving to adjacent petals. The first pass was still not quite where I wanted it so I waited till the first layer was dried and then applied another layer of paint over the whole painting. I added a few leaves and suggestion of some others for a simple background and added a few touches of the stamen colors for a bit of detail.
I'm glad I went thru the effort to try this approach. I have to say it's not as much fun for me as the more direct method ( which requires less patience and more immediate gratification), but I do like the effect of light. It does force you to slow down and compare shapes of value relative to one another. So while I might not "convert" over to this approach, there are things I've learned that I believe I can integrate into a more direct approach. And it's always good to have options on how to approach the next painting challenge.