Indirect Method of Painting; color layer

Since January of 2015 I have been adding color over the underpainting. Interestingly it is known as the Dead Color layer. However, the color is anything but dead as you will see from the photos below.

I began on the left side with the furniture and still life pieces. During this phase I will be working out the color temperature of the painting as a whole.

Furniture and costume dead color layer.

Furniture and costume dead color layer.

The obstacle I am facing is the fact that I don’t have a mock set-up to work from. I am using Holbein’s line drawing and Roland Lockey’s copy of the painting for color reference. Both are somewhat lacking in color information. Reproductions of Lockey’s painting suffer from the dark areas are too dark to see detail and the light areas have no depth.

Rowland Lockey portrait

Rowland Lockey

The method is very simple. I mix the color on my palette, thinly spread a layer of walnut oil alkyd over my intended area of painting and brush the color into this oil. I don’t add any shading or highlighting to the color, that is what the underpainting is for. The color should be put on the canvas so thinly that the underpainting is still visible. The next photos illustrate this process.

Dead color layer. Hutch and Elizabeth Duancey.

Dead color layer. Hutch and Elizabeth Duancey.

Dead color layer. Curtains

Dead color layer. Curtains

Dead color layer. Curtains , doorway.

Dead color layer. Curtains , doorway.

Dead color layer. Floor.

Dead color layer. Floor.

Dead color layer. Floor completed.

Dead color layer. Floor completed.

Once the color is painted I will be finishing some areas to a high degree and others I will leave alone.