This painting is the first study in a series revolving around the theme of the Masquerade.
Many people have asked me about the process of oil painting so I’ve taken photographs at different stages of this one, you can scroll through the following gallery to get an idea of how this painting was created.
Oil paint is a flexible medium and there are innumerable ways of going about it. The method I used for this one begins with a monochrome sketch; an underpainting. Working in monochrome allows one to quickly sketch out the subject without having to worry about color; essentially, we are treating tone and colour separately which is a very efficient way of tackling a very difficult problem. Next, we further refine the painting using white to pump up the contrast and also to create a textured ground for future glazing. Once the underpainting is finished and sufficiently dry we can start painting over it in colour, varying the opacity according to tone and desired effect. On each subsequent pass, the details get further and further refined until the painting is finished. The final steps usually involve large unifying glazes that tie the piece together. After the painting has dried thoroughly (a few months or up to a year or more depending on paint thickness) it can be given a coat of varnish which will both protect it and freshen its colours,