In this part of the blog I will explain in detail the decisions I take, the techniques, the colors and type of brushes I use to make the paintings from the very beginning so that if you decide to start painting on your own, you can use this as a guide. Painting astronomical objects in oil on canvas is not easy. This is the reason why most artists create digital images instead. Even though it is not an easy task and probably my paintings will not be as perfect as if I created digitized work, I decided to do this collection in oils because the brushstrokes show the imperfections, I might say, the humanity, of the person holding the brush and because I simply adore oils. Contrary to a print, an original oil painting is a unique work of art that has texture you can see and feel.
Stage 1. For this painting, I started out with a white cotton canvas which I primed four times with black gesso, a mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum and black pigment. I coated the canvas with thin brushstrokes because I don’t want the structure of the canvas itself to disappear. After each coat, I sanded the canvas delicately with the finest sand paper, to get rid of unwanted brushstrokes. After the fourth coat, the canvas was let to dry completely overnight. To serve as a guide, I made a light pastel chalk drawing of the object and laid out background colors in titanium white and viridian green.
Stage 1. I increased the intensity of the colors mixed above and added a brushstrokes of alizarin crimson and quinacridone red. Alizarin crimson is the color of blood and adds dimension when mixed with other colors. I will use ratios of this mixture for the entire process. Cadmium red is a warm color with hints of yellow. I will use this for the top highlights because it blends beautifully with yellow for orange and gold tones.
Stage 1. I added ultramarine blue or viridian green darken the aforementioned reds. For the cool areas, I used a mixture of alizarin crimson and pthalo blue. For low lights, I used warmer tones, I added burnt sienna or ultramarine blue to the reds. I mixed a little Titanium white with a small portion of the above mixtures for the highlights.