256: Mix Rich Color

Country Road, 20″ x 20″, oil on canvas

I’VE been having a lot of success with my latest mixture of sun oil and Gamblin Gel. I do a full color, full value underpainting then oil up with the sun oil/G-gel mixture and add the thick paint. It is incredibly fun. The only drawback has been that sometimes the mixture is extremely glossy although if I am careful not to apply it too thickly it is manageable.

But lately I have been adding just a hint of chalk (this link is the cheapest chalk I have found). If I add too much chalk the mixture goes milky. I add the chalk just to give a bit of matte finish to what is otherwise a very glossy medium. The chalk also gives just a bit more body to the mixture (which is always good). I could probably get the same results by adding a small amount of wax medium but I haven’t tried that yet.

In the accompanying painting I added my final coat of thick paint and pushed the richness of every stroke to the maximum. I intuitively matched the value to my underpainting and then tweaked the color for maximum richness. I deviated from the values of the underpainting but it worked nevertheless (in order to make the colors richer light colors got a bit darker and dark colors got a bit lighter). I find if I adhere too closely to a rigid technique aspects of the painting can suffer. Be sure you remain open to creative possibilities as you paint. This will come easier as you get more experience and let your subconscious mind do the heavy lifting.

Brad Teare –November 2015

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Updated: 3rd December 2020
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