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a rough summary on how I go about painting.....

Begin with a really rough drawing, basically getting the idea together but drawn so badly that you require notations to remind yourself what it is you have drawn(!).
Next you work out your canvas size & buy the correct sized stretcher & stretch the canvas over it. Since real canvas isn't made any more, I buy 12 ounce cotton duc. (note: real canvas is "cannabis", mispronounced as canvas, which today is referred to as hemp...!) I then apply 5 to 7 coats of gesso onto the canvas. Then I go about drawing onto the canvas. Because the texture is so coarse I use a hard pencil usually H6 graphite. Then, when I finish drawing, I wash off the pencil "dust" & whilst still wet I paint another thin layer of gesso over it sealing the pencil, which I "pad down" with a cloth so that I can see the pencil lines.

I then begin painting. With this one I began on the "rib-like" aspects on the top & then bottom; then I commenced on the"breast-plate(!)"; then the machinery... commencing from the top right & working around. I am left handed. If I was right handed I would begin from the top left.

One important note: paint brushes. I use watercolour brushes for my oil-painting. Indeed, they are the key to smoothing & merging my tones. Of particular importance is the broad flat brush that I use for merging. These water-colour brushes I use are imitation sable. Despite what they tell you, they are not all the same. Imitation sable is made of nylon. But a difference in the micron thickness of the bristle, its length, etc., dictate how much "spring" the brush has & how coarse it may be.

necrophagous. oil on canvas. 1999

© demetrios vakras