Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Recipe for Tempera Putrido

Tempera putrido is like 'white-out' for oil painters. It is a white that can be used for corrections in a painting where you have to paint a light over a dark. The putrido will dry quickly and will not become transparent over time as a regular white would.

This recipe came to me via John Angel who had a tube of it in his fridge back in the early 2000's. I was responsible for moving his home to a new apartment and I forgot the tube of putrido.  It worked wonderfully and so I am not sure if I will ever live it down.

You will need both tempera white and oil white:

Tempera white - Mix together: 1 part egg yolk, 1 part water and 1 part pigment.

Oil white - white pigment ground thickly into stand oil.

The  pigment can be titanium white or lead white although lead pigment is highly toxic if breathed in.

Then: one part oil white ground in one part tempera white will give you tempera putrido. Tube it and  store it in the fridge.

Here is an old BBC video of Pietro Annigoni, John Angel's maestro, mixing tempera colours for his painting.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Steps in the Production of a Painting Video

I just started playing around with some new video software and have put together some videos on the painting process, mostly aimed at helping my students.

Here is one on the steps in the production of a painting:

Here is  "Big Form Modelling a Bouguereau".

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Painter and the City

Antonio Amandeu Conceicao Cruz was born in Porto and lived there his entire life. He took as his subject matter his hometown and spent a lifetime chasing the wet and mysterious light, characteristics of Porto.

In 1956 the great Portuguese director Manuoel de Oliveira produced the film "O Pintor e a Cidade". A beautiful silent film alternating scenes of the painter, the city and the artwork.
A simple love letter to one of my favourite cities.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Interview about Sacred Art

The Kolbe times recently interviewed me about my role in the Sacred Art program at St. Mary's College in Calgary, Canada.
A New Renaissance:The Sacred Arts
More information on St. Mary's Sacred Art program

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Great Statement about Beauty

Dr. Elizabeth Lev is one of my favourite art historians. An American based out of Rome, she speaks about art history with one foot thoroughly planted in the theology of the Catholic Church.
She recently did a TEDtalk about the Sistine Chapel in which she describes it as, "..a great statement about how beauty truly can speak to us all, through time and through geographic space."

If you enjoyed that there are longer talks about the Sistine Chapel and more on youtube:

Dr. Lev's website.

I also recommend her book, "A Body for Glory" which looks at the representation of the human body through art history through the lens of Pope John Paul's "Theology of the Body".

Friday, December 11, 2015

Off the Coast Podcast - A Conversation with Daniel Gamelas

Daniel Gamelas is a Portuguese sculptor based in Porto, Portugal whose work focuses on  pre- Roman Iberian culture. Daniel has founded the first traditional art academy in Portugal, AARP.

Daniel's Website:

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Method of Caravaggio - Part 3 - The Overpainting

As we have seen, Caravaggio developed a system of painting that allowed him to be extremely efficient in the period before his death.

 The wash drawing is executed to a high degree of finish. The flesh is under painted with white and drapery is painted directly. Then, when dry, the overpainting of the flesh is started.

Caravaggio's basic palette included lead white, red and yellow ocher, lead-tin yellow, vermilion (cinnbar), malachite, carbon black and earth colors, plus madder lake and copper resinate glazes. 
I use a variation of a palette  invented by John Angel and used at the Angel Academy.  I have tried many different palettes and this one is perfect for copying Caravaggio.
 From left to right: Lead white, Zecchi roman ochre, Zecchi vermillion, Old Holland persian red, Old Holland red umber, Michael Harding burnt umber, Michael Harding raw umber, Old Holland green umber and ivory black.

The painting is then finished piecemeal. The colours are painted thin but opaque and then blended to a finish.

Copy by workshop student Jacqui Butterworth.

Below is a video of the workshop demo on the application of the overpainting:

For more info on the Methods of Caravaggio workshop :