Pescallo cafe painting demo (cont’d)

Here’s a little more progress on the Pescallo painting I started in my last post.  I’m trying to write this as a demo of sorts, which means that with my  time constraints it is taking longer for me to post than I’d like. But noting ventured nothing gained, and I’m now ready to talk about some color! My palette for this painting is as follows:

titanium white
cadmium yellow light
cadmium orange
cadmium red
alizarin crimson
ultramarine blue
sevres blue (Rembrandt- it’s like a cerulean but more intense)
burnt sienna
gold ochre

This is a bit more expanded than the single primary I have experimented with a lot in the past, but with limited time in the studio now, it is helpful to have a few more “convenience” colors in my arsenal. With the tonal drawing laid to canvas as my guide, I begin by blocking in my color, starting with the sky and mountains. I start with very general shapes at first and then work to refine them as I move along. For the sky I am using combinations of sevres and ultramarine and white, and for the clouds, touches of cadmium orange and red, plus white. The mountains are basically varying degrees of cadmium orange and ultramarine blue.

lake como Italy painting in progress by Jennifer Young

Since so much of the background peeks through what I will have going on in the fore, I decide to work out the background first, fleshing out the highlights of the mountains. The greens of the mountains are very grayed down- just the slightest amount of cad yellow light is used, in combination with the blues. I also add a little alizarin crimson to neutralize it further.

Italian landscape painting in progress by Jennifer Young

I decide to soften the sky a bit to make the background stay back and be less busy. Then I start to lay in a first pass at the water. I use a slightly darker variation of the blues from the sky for the distant water, using less white as I move forward. I also add in some cadmium orange to the blues as the water edges closer to the pier and foreground. This won’t be the final word on the water, but I have gotten rid of that white canvas and have enough of the background tones to start laying in the foreground. Next I will begin work on establishing the shadows and highlights of the pier.

lake como Italy painting in progress by Jennifer Young

Quite a lot still to go, but things are starting to take shape. But as they say, the devil’s in the details.

5 Responses to Pescallo cafe painting demo (cont’d)

  1. ann miltiades

    As a beginning artist, I appreciate your demonstrations and color mixing tips! I love your art.
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi Jennifer.’
    My problem is currently that I have run out of certain colors (oil), so can I mix acrylic and oil paints on the canvas? I don´t mean mixing acrylic and oil but using acrylic on part of canvas and oil on other parts. What will happen in the “border” areas if an oil color overlaps acrylic or the other way around?

  3. PS
    Is there an difference between acrylic on top of oil compared to oil on top of acrylics?

  4. Ann, I’m glad you are enjoying the demos! Thank you for your comments. They will encourage me to keep up these kinds of posts!

  5. Erik- Oils and acrylics in the same painting is not a good idea, IMO. An exception would be if you did the entire underpainting in a thin layer of acrylics and then once dry, began applying oils on the subsequent layers. I have known artists who have used this method and as far as I know they haven’t had problems with it. After all, one can apply oils to a canvas primed with acrylic gesso.

    But a painting done half in acrylics and half in oils (side by side) is likely to look strange, even if the edges never touch (which I think would be unlikely). They just have different drying properties and different qualities in appearance as well.

    Never apply acrylics on top of oils. Oil paints can take years to fully cure/dry and applying a quick-drying paint over top will cause the surface to crack and possibly even chip off. My best advice would be to set aside the painting until you get more oils, and start a new piece in acrylics in the meantime. Good luck!

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