Peering Over/Looking Back, pt 4. building up…

February 16, 2012

and now begins the long, tedious process of what i call establish, obscure, re-iterate, obscure, re-iterate, obscure, re-iterate, obscure, ad nauseum. the only way to get a drawing to look like a painting is to paint the shit out of it. no, i should say that’s the only way for ME to do it. i see lots of amazing painters accomplish it with economic approaches, but for me, it never looks like it’s coming alive unless there are layers and layers of give and take. so in the beginning i just start giving darks to the dark areas, and taking away from stuff what i want to be lighter (by painting over it semi-opaquely).

i’ll start to introduce a bit of colour at this point, but nothing literal. still sort of just pushing things a degree toward where they might end up. all the while i’m still trying to keep a messy colour mesh happening. so that nothing is ever “a colour” but rather a mess of hues. i’ll start to draw over the underdrawing with opaque colours so that things are not as clear and “drawingy”. still thinking of it all as a foundation for the real work to come.

next week, more of the same, ha ha! (not sure if i should start condensing entries during this long middle period. what do you think? long and detailed, or more concise? leave me a comment with your preference!)

19 Responses to “Peering Over/Looking Back, pt 4. building up…”


  1. Hi! I’m curious about the type of medium you use for your work. You seem to use a lot! Is it an alkyd, an oil, a special blend? Is it the same recipe for each layers? How long do you wait between two layers?
    (Big fan, by the way!)

  2. John Martz Says:

    The more process, the better! Long and detailed, I say. I love this kind of stuff. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Long and detailed, please. Thanks.

  4. Tobi Says:

    long and detailed ! the people who find that too long, should watch just the picture! but those like me, who are very interest in the process of things, love the detail. Love your new blog. greetings from germany


  5. Olivier, i use Stevenson’s alkyd. i LOVE it. i order it from the manufacturer in 4L cans. it speeds drying time to the point where i arrive to a bone dry painting nearly every morning (unless i painted particularly fat the day before). some say such fast drying can lead to problems later (cracking), but so far so good. also, sometimes i’ll add a tiny bit of linseed to slow drying time. just like 1 part linseed to 8 or 9 parts alkyd. a little has a big impact.

    John M, John T Q III, and Tobi, thanks for your feedback. i will not be self-conscious about going into detail anymore!

    and Tobi, where are you in germany? i’m considering a visit to Hammelburg in august.


    • Thanks for your answers!
      Here’s another one: Do you varnish your work or is it only the alkyd’s natural gloss?
      And if you varnish, what’s your method (and material)?


      • the alkyd i use throughout creates an uneven glass so at the end i “varnish” it with a last coat of just alkyd. i actually apply it with a big balled-up bunch of rags and just rub it all over the surface. i find brushing it on to finicky to get even and to apply very little. with the rag, it’s easy to just buff it on.


      • Thanks! I’ve always had a hard time applying varnish!

  6. Tobi Says:

    hallo Dave
    i’m from Dortmund. it is in the west. It’s the 8th biggest city in our country. dortmund is in the Ruhr Area. some of the cultural areas. in the last century it was the capitol of where the Steal, Coal/Charcoal and the BEER was from. but today no more steal or coal. but a big nightculture with bars, clubs, galleries and things.but the beer still has its culture here.

    Do you realy mean HAMMELBURG ? or is it HAMBURG?
    i ask because hamburg is a very beautiful and big city in the very north of germany. and hammelburg is a very very quite little city in the heart of the country.

    greetings and sorry for my bad english


  7. thanks Tobi. and yes, i DO mean Hammelburg. i think it’s sort of near Frankfurt. one of the greatest drummers in the world, Benny Greb will be putting on a week-long drum camp at a gorgeous villa in Hammelburg. so i’m excited to try and attend! Dortmund sounds lovely.

  8. Tobi Says:

    thats right. you need 1,5 hours ( 1 hour with the right autobahn) from hammelburg to frankfurt by car. frankfurt is the 5th biggest city in the country. in this case frankfurt beats dortmund hehe.
    frankfurt has its skyscrappers and stuff. but this are things we stole from your country and that would be nothing exotic about the visit.

    but hammelburg is small, but its an old medievil city with castels and stuff. and this are things you can’t see yery often in the US right? and lets be honest, drumming alongside castles in an 1300 year old city without damages by war–this sounds like a fun vacation.

    such a long flight for a week to drum? this means a lot to you right?

    I’ve heared about Benny Greb. i saw some instruczion-dvd about him in a music-shop.


  9. yes, it means A LOT to me. mr. greb invited me personally, in fact! a lot of people don’t know that aside from art, drums are my passion. to study under him for a whole week (from when you wake up till when you go to bed) is almost unimaginable to me!!

    and yes, castles and stuff will be awesome for me to see! no castles in canada, that’s for sure!

  10. Tobi Says:

    i only saw an electronic drum kid in one of your flickr-picture in the time i studied ( and still studying) your process shots that you load up. bit this only drum-kid picture doesn’t tell the story behind it. i was thinking that its to bridge over time meanwhile the oil is drying. but i had no idea that the passion reaches so far, that you would fly such a distance for it. but i understand it.absolutly! i think every person who visits your blog would do it the same way to learn for a week your drawing and painting techniques. but the detailed look over your shoulders int his blog is a little step in this direction.

    will this be your first time in germany or europe?

    greetings from tobias


  11. thanks, it never occurred to me that anyone would want to attend a workshop with ME!! that would be fun! and yes, it will be my first time in germany! it’s funny, i’ve been close many times, but something always got in the way. i’ve been too europe a number of times. hey, do you know a good comicshop or bookshop in frankfurt that might be interested in a signing or something? it would be fun to add some art into the visit…

  12. Tobi Says:

    sorry but i’m not often in frankfurt. there are some comic book stores.i’m sure. there is the biggest book-fair in the world. FRANKFURTER BUCHMESSE. book publisher ( comics included) shows there new books and there are signings and stuff. but the book-fair is in october this year ( not in august). but germany has some fine comic-publisher like CROSS CULT (hellboy,sin city, mouse guard) and REPRODUKT (charles burns stuff and jason). you should contact them. may they can help you out. REPRODUKT published JASON’s comics and BLACK HOLE like FANTAGRAPHICS in USA. they might be in contact.
    here are there contact email adresses.

    info@reprodukt.com
    info@cross-cult.de

    i hope it helps you i little bit.

    i thing people would love to have a booksigning and/or exhibition here. My copy of BENT would look cooler too with some real brushstrokes.

  13. david Says:

    Slow is fine its a privileged to see the process. Keep it up.
    thanx
    toast23

  14. cody Says:

    Awesome, MOre the better

  15. 111dibujitos Says:

    Wow!
    I’ve been following your process posts for a while now and I always learn something new.
    I remember when you first showed us your projector, and the next week I bought myself a cheap but useful one šŸ™‚
    Also the non-repro blue thing, and the way you paint layer by layer.. I try to do my best šŸ˜›

    If you ever think of doing a workshop I would be first in the row!! (If my economy allows me so).
    Well, thanks for the process pictures and explanations and please make it as long as you feel like doing it!


  16. 111dibujitos! thanks so much for that! nice to know you’ve been following my posts! that workshop idea is an interesting one. i’ll have to keep mulling that over. all the very best, your pal, dave


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