View Full Version : GOING for the GOLD, painting the Gargoyle and other gold, brass, and silver things

cobalt fingers
01-13-2002, 01:41 PM
...:cat: Many folks have asked me about the gold in the Gargoyle (Fall Collection) I answered it in two places but some questions still linger out there maybe because the replies to the questions were split (answered two seperate places) I hope here to provide additional info. Now please ask me after you read this specifically what I have not made clear and I'll answer all those questions as best I can.

I'll post some images now and add some later that further clarify points I hoping to make. I really think that representational painting is like baseball:p ...there are no secrets...everything that's ever been done is out there for us to learn from. We have at least 6 centuries of pretty good oil on canvas pictures to study.

Now, this is my basic way of painting people, flowers, landscapes, and still lifes which include METAL SURFACES like copper, brass and gold. I do this because I want info overload. I want to be the editor not a camera and not a lab guy in Ohio...although I'm sure lab guys in Ohio are wonderful people.:clap: :clap:

LIGHT...I have a studio which I did not design but it has tons of north light and 3 skylights...great huh? Well I have too much light for my tastes. Here's why, the light changes all day long. So, try to establish a constant light source for your work. I further think there are good artifical lights out there and recommend those.

SET UPS...I have the very same light on my set-up as is on my painting. This is more about making things easy on you the artists. As you try to read a color you must read it and paint it under the same conditions or else you are forever making tediuous compensations and adjustments. Painting is hard enough w/o making thing extra difficult.

Pallette...mine varies according to what I'm painting. My goals are to paint nearly as i can what I seeing in front of me. So I use really powerful pigments like thalos if need be. I also use earth colors and do on nearly all my paintings. I use ivory black. It's on my pallette to mix with sometimes. Black is something we were and still are warned to never use right? Well I use it sparingly instaed of creating a complex admixture of other darks mixed together which are proported to be far more lively. I don't want lively darks. Like it or not darks are just that, dancing exciting darks do not recede which really is the nature of darkness. I didn't make this up.
So cobalt blue, ultr blue, lemon yellow, cad yellow, burnt sienna, raw sienna, Van dyke brown, ivory black, thick mixed white, cad red light, sap green, yellow ochre, lots of new reds in the purple ranges (these are fun and rich)Quinacridone Red is one, a dep trans cool red like Aliz crimson, and any other colors I want to toss into the game I use at different times.

I set up the canvas near the set-up and view the work fro the same point all during the painting This is really important when painting reflective metals since as slightly diff point of view will change the appearance of what your looking at. I draw in with turp thinned VDyke brown blocking in...mapping straight across from the set-up. I'll post a picture that will make this clear later(I've got to find it and scan it)

Now just paint what you see. Keeping you eye in the same place sitting or standing...move your glance from the set-up to the painting and correct and adjust your painting to match the set-up. This is tough and this is where you must try and try again. Sargent said the stuff that's really hard to read you must try really hard to get-ITS ALL IMPORTANT! I've said earlier that I paint the easier colors and objects first and then the more demanding ones are easier to nail. The Gargoyle took me 6 or 7 attempts. One or two hours for 6 or 7 days. Paint thinly so you don't have to fight errant pigment while you're finding the colors. When you do get them splash them on thickly and proudly!

Here are some photos...I'm sure I'll be hearing from you. I'll try to answer the most common questions first and I know there will be many...this is complex stuff and it's visual so words seem wanting sometimes. yours Tim Tyler

cobalt fingers
01-13-2002, 01:52 PM
This was a detail of a Russian samovar. The surface is less shiny than the gargoyle and it's in halftone so it looks different.

cobalt fingers
01-13-2002, 01:54 PM
Here's another example 12 x16 oil

This one has different lighting and is a different suface the cloth is satin.

cobalt fingers
01-13-2002, 01:59 PM
Now this one is dull metal pewter which yet again different...it reflects and shines in it's own way...this is the most intense light on any of the pieces here submitted and it's hitting the least reflective surface.

01-13-2002, 05:42 PM
to add a bit,,,,,,,

metal is shiny.

metal is mirror-like.

therefore metal shouldn't be painted with FORM LIGHT. no light side or dark side. its form is a mishmosh of reflections around it. so areas will pop out, areas will recede to darkness. turn of form created by distortion of reflections.

metal is hard.

therefore it should be handled more crisply than other objects. the harder and shinier, the crisper the brush handling. metal and glass share similiar qualities, except you can see through glass.

metal also has more hilites(obvious). the best way to paint hilites is to place them next to darks. CONTRAST,,,,,,,SHARP CONTRAST!!!

metal might be difficult at first but here's the good news. you can paint the reflections anyway you want to. why?,,,,,,because who's to say what distorted shapes play in the enviroment. what this means is that you can manipulate the darks and lights any way you want to bring out the shape or define areas. the only area in metal that you have to be accurate with is in the close objects next to the metal.

just remember that when you paint metal/glass, you are REALLY painting everything around them. if you get it into your mind that you are painting the THING itself, you will doom its metalness.

in tim's dulled metals, he had to painted limited reflection. so he was forced to paint the object, so to speak. it was reflections on a dulled surface that does show a turn of form. but all he really had to do was cut the contrast in the reflections....milt

ps,,,metal is best painted with TWO VALUES. that means two values with MINIMAL gradations. that's MINIMAL. otherwise,,,,you get more than two values,,,,,,,,right? like tim's dulled pewter mug. two values with an ABRUPT transition between the two. that's how he gets the shine. the key being that tiny hilite on the back lip.

pps,,,in regards to color....DON'T. because metal reflects, its coloring should be "a VARIATION of the ambient coloring" at most. if, for instance, you paint gold with as yelowish a gold as you can mix,,,,it will look yellow, not gold-metal-like. because you HAVE to take into consideration the refelective ambience.

01-13-2002, 08:14 PM
examples can be seen in Vermeer's Woman with a Water Jug in New York and that weighty sort of bent down chandelier in his The Art of Painting in Vienna.

cobalt fingers
01-14-2002, 12:45 AM
in progress shot "Rome Beauties" showing sight size method used in most studio work and all still lifes. You simply look at both the set-up and the painting and paint until you make the latter look like the former.