rub in light
A kneaded eraser can be used on small areas of thin paint. This is especially useful in pulling out highlights in an underpainting.
1 Pencil drawing
With any painting, having a solid, accurate drawing in place is beneficial. With both armour and portraits, it’s absolutely crucial. A mistake in perspective with the armour, or placing an eye too high can easily destroy the illusion.
2 Blocking in darks
I select fast-drying alkyd burnt umber and paint in the shadow areas right on top of a copy of my drawing that’s been mounted and sealed. This layer will dry within a few hours.
3 Colour underpainting
I thin my paints significantly using a mixture of gamsol and galkyd, and then start laying in large sections of colour. Using the thickness of the paint to control value enables me to make changes quickly and easily.
4 Further underpainting
Usually one pass is enough. In this case, after some sleep, I feel that it’s just a bit too far away from what I want. So I add more layers of thin transparent paint to darken some areas and change some colours.
5 Paint by numbers
It’s now time to start rendering and polishing. The next several steps are all done in one sitting, while the paint is still wet. The only way to allow for the time-intensive nature of this stage is to work section by section.