29 July 2007

Completing the Picture

Over the past few days I've kept working on my painting on and off (and we haven't been able to eat at the dining table in all that time!). Firstly I filled in the blue and magenta sections of the tablecloth, and added more depth to the tea...

I've just removed most of the masking fluid here, and just about finished painting the tablecloth.

Today I've had the whole day free to paint (well, I also do housework in the times when sections of the painting are drying). Firstly I tackled the cup. This is always tricky, as the surface needs to look shiny and smooth and reflective. First of all I put in a wash of a pale grey, and while the paper is still wet, I drop in some darker greys and blues.

I muck around with the cup and saucer for quite some time, and come very close to ruining the painting at this stage! I probably overworked this section (too many layers of paint aren't a good idea). I think it turned out OK in the end, although I'm not entirely happy with the cup.

Finally it's time to paint the knitting. Firstly I add more masking fluid, around the major holes in the shawl where the tablecloth shows through underneath. I had to do this step twice, as the first time the angle of the lines wasn't right. The little row of dark dots is the Addi Turbo cable where it shows between the stitches.

Then I paint on colours from the tablecloth with grey added (to create shades). More waiting for things to dry...

Then I remove the masking fluid, and ta dah! It looks like lines of stitches with a dark background showing through! I missed a few of the lines joining up properly, though... still, I'm quite pleased with how this looks.

The final stages include adding shading and texture to the shawl, adding more shadows to the painting in general, a few stitch details here and there, and adding some definition to the edges of the cup and saucer. I run the painting past my expert checker (my son, who has an impeccable eye), and adjust the highlight in the tea for him. He's happy, so I'm happy! I think it's done. Approximate time from start to finish, about 12 hours.

Sometimes it's hard to tell when a painting is finished, and at this stage I usually leave the painting on its board and prop it up somewhere for a few days, so I can look at it and see if anything 'pops' out at me and needs to be changed. Only then will I sign it.

I haven't thought of a good title for this one yet - thinking along the lines of Study in White, but that's a bit dull... I don't really want to use the name of the lace shawl (it's the Icarus Shawl from Interweave Knits). Hmmm, maybe something to do with my daughter, as it's her first lace shawl? What do you think?

I hope you've enjoyed following the process of one of my paintings. It's been fun showing you how it's done :)
Yay - we can eat dinner at the table tonight!


  1. It was great to see the process! No-one eats at my dining table either, but that's becasue it's covered in sewing machines and fabric. Far less entertaining! ;)

  2. Oh lovely! I'm not sure I understand the making fluid part though...?

    How about The White Shawl. Simple and effective.

  3. It's been such an amazing process to watch, Ive really loved it. Hmmm, what to call it? A reference to wings or flying to obtuse? Cleverer folk than me will have better ideas!

  4. I have loved watching the evolution of this painting - you are so clever! My morning coffee hasn't sunk in yet, so not very inventive with a name...

  5. Another beauty, I think, whatever you call it!

  6. Fascinating tutorial! I had no idea how much forethought and planning go into it. And the results are stunning. Maybe call it Winterwhite?

  7. Your light and shade is very good!

    Great technique.

    Thank you for sharing.


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