Techniques of the Masters

Painting Like the Masters  

OIL PAINTINGS

Mixed method: Employed by the old masters, the mixed method refers to a painting technique that combines the advantages of tempera and oil paint. The main advantage of the water-soluble and thin egg tempera is that it dries very quickly. It, furthermore, covers well, makes possible very sharp strokes, but remains dull. Thus egg tempera is especially suitable for underpaintings. Oil paint, which is then applied, intensifies brightness and shine. Smooth transitions of colours, thin glazes as well as saturation can only be obtained by employing oil paint. Details, such as the lines of hair, can be managed brilliantly when egg tempera, thinned with water, is painted into the wet oil paint (oil paint alone would be too smooth here). The mixed method is frequently ascribed to the brothers van Eyck (end of 14th cent. – middle of 15th cent.). Today the term “ mixed method “ is often used to describe any combination of two painting techniques. Unfortunately the old masters‘ mixed method, which requires a profound knowledge of the paints and their properties as well as the artist’s patience, is more and more falling into oblivion.Hen´s eggPigment Terra di SienaEgg tempera: The term “ tempera “ has been loosely applied to almost all kinds of paints other than  oils and watercolours. Strictly speaking, however, tempera refers only to pigments bound by an emulsion. Egg tempera normally is produced by the artist himself. Pigments ( i.e. inorganic and organic powder colouring matters, e.g. yellow ochre = Terra di Siena ) are mixed with a self-made emulsion consisting of egg, linseed oil, varnish, and water.
Composition of a painting in the old masters’ mixed method : (schematized)
2. Coating of the underground (e.g. panel)
3. The main contours of the sketch are copied with water-colours or tempera.
4. A thin coat of tempera or oil paint (called “imprimatura”) is put on. Except for the sky earthly tones are used. The sketch is shining through this transparent coat.
 

5. To obtain modelling white tempera is applied. The imprimatura is shining through the shadow, which has no highest lights nor greater depths.

6. Without covering the underpainting completely, the main colour is now put on with oil paint. A covering or glazing effect is thus obtained.
7. If modelling is still insufficient, white tempera or tempera of a different colour can be painted right into the wet oil paint.
 

GO TO : Ego Id Super-Ego 8.  Further coats of oil paint, also half-covering ones, are added. Darker sections are intensified. Finally, highest lights and details are emphasized so that they become lighter or darker.

Every coat of oil has to be put on as thin as possible in order to preserve the brightness of the colours. The colour of the imprimatura is palely shining through all the shadows and gives the painting a harmonious transition of colours. Basic rule: From thin coats on to fatter ones.

 
 

DRAWINGS
Graphite

In numerous experiments Luigi La Speranza has developed his own drawing technique, which he calls “graphite”. Due to solvents that liquefy the graphite, painted elements can be added to drawn ones. The painted component gives the graphite-drawings a very special charm.
 

 
  
 

WATER-COLOURS
Water-colourA painting technique in which water-soluble and transparent paints are used. However, Luigi La Speranza deliberately avoids the “wet-in-wet-technique”, which is so characteristic of watercolors.
 
 

 
 


Etching


 

 

 

Giclée Fine Art Druck

          If you haven’t yet heard the word Giclée (pronounced zhee-clay) spoken in reverant
          tones in local art circles, you will. This new method of using computer technology to
          make collectible quality prints is taking the art world by storm. In addition to its ability to
          re-create artwork with the look and feel of an original, Giclée equipment can print
          reproductions one at a time–on demand–for less money than traditional offset
          lithography or serigraphy. These benefits have brought this once experimental technique
          into the mainstream in just a few short years. Without a doubt, you’ll want to get to know

          Giclées–they may be your ticket to entering the top quality reproduction market.
          Giclée prints are fine-art quality prints produced on an Iris brand ink-jet printer. Not
          to be confused with other ink-jet printers designed for commercial and home uses, an Iris
          ink- jet printer for use in Giclée printing is top-of-the-line equipment. It uses the four
          standard process colors–cyan, magenta,yellow and black–but it prints the image at a
          perceived resolution of 1800 dpi. These microscopic dots produce astoundingly accurate
          color and create the appearance of nearly continuous tone.
          A Giclée image that originates in the computer but is printed in an edition of more
          than one print becomes a multiple original print in the same family as etchings and
          serigraphs.

     Taken from an article in The Artist’s Magazine by Patrick Seslar
 

 

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