A Modern Approach to a Traditional Technique Concluded (Applying Final Glazes)

Finally, this painting has reached it’s final phase.  This is where I evaluate the entire image, specifically looking for areas where colors or values need adjusting.  These final modifications are essential to the overall unity of the painting.  This is where I choose to divorce myself from the visual references that have, thus far, guided my decisions in pursuit of a more creative realization; one which is concerned entirely with delivering an aesthetic beauty to my audience.

All of the changes made in this phase are done with selective glazing.  This is the icing on the cake.  Sometimes it’s the subtlest of touches that tie everything together.  Below is the completed image followed by details and explanations of the steps I took to resolve this visual idea.  Looking back, there’re always things that I feel I could continue to work on, but at a certain point I have to declare it finished and move on to the next project.

“Transitions” David Rivera, 2010

Above, the detailed vein work of the leaf was painted directly onto the white ground with a #10/0 liner brush.  Once dry, glazes of Thalo Green and Cadmium Yellow Light were added on top to integrate the sharp lines into the texture of the leaf and decrease the value contrast.  Contrasting colors, however, are explored to make the leaf shimmer against the blue background.  I introduced Alizarin Orange to the shadow masses, choosing the complimentary of blue, in an effort to play harmonizing “color” notes.

The reds in this leaf were built up with layers of Scheveningen Red, General Rose Madder, Baroque Red, and Transparent Red Oxide, however, upon my final evaluation, I realized they were too red, and applied a general, faint Cobalt Violet glaze.  This helped to de-saturate the vibrant color, and cool it down just enough so that it unified with the blue background.  In the deeper shadows I actually added some of the same blue background color.  Even though it is quite faint, and perhaps not very noticeable in the reproduction, it really helped to unify the colors.

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