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  #241   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-10-2011, 01:32 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trond
By the way, Gareth, it's a very odd thing you mentioned about people's opinions on the glazes (or supposed lack thereof). It reminds me a bit about some strange attitudes about using black for instance (this was virtually the only thing our art teacher taught us in school: "don't use black!").
Yes, I can see the similarity, Trond. I think the belief that old masters did not use glazes had been far more destructive, however, since it gave the go-head for wrecking a large percentage of the old masters in the UK and the USA. I guess the belief may have stemmed in part from an over-rigid interpretation of the tonal impressionist theory of direct painting which Carolus Duran promoted, and which Sargent espoused to such powerful effect.

On the one hand (or so it seemed) there were those painters who developed the form by adding modelling, rather like someone who adds to a drawing and so makes it darker, on the other there was the pure tonal impressionist theory which meant reducing the subject to a patchwork of coloured shapes and recording these, rather as Vermeer did (as you can see in his less finished parts). This meant that ideally, a painter would hit exactly the right tone and colour straight off.

A glaze, in this context, is a sign of failure. Hence Sargent's dictum, “if it is transparent, paint it transparent!” I take this to mean that a shadow, say on the side of a face, looks transparent in real life, but if you hit the right colour and tone with opaque paint, that opaque paint, in the right place on the painting, will look transparent.

This is why using a glaze is a trick in this context – it is a way of avoiding the task of mixing exactly the right tone and colour. It is true that Sargent, as many others, actually did use a glaze here and there, rather as he did occasionally use a dry brush to blur the paint (another sin according to pure tonal impressionist theory).
Quote:
In his own way, he made it work without much use of glazes, which is fine, except of course that glazes are absolutely necessary in other people's techniques.
That is true. For Sargent to have strayed too far from Carolus-Duran's approach would have compromised his work. If you try to combine the excellencies of too many styles you are likely to end up with a feeble mish-mash, so it is easy to understand why people can become overly rigid in their interpretation of these self-imposed rules.
Quote:
The strangest thing of all is that they must not have checked the literature. Both Titian (quoted by others) and Pacheco say explicitly that they use glazes!
I agree, it it amazing in what a powerful position restorers find themselves. No-one can challenge them. If even Gombrich, perhaps the greatest art historian ever, should fail and be humiliated so disgracefully, that just shows what enormous power restorers have.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:37 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

[quote=Gareth

I agree, it it amazing in what a powerful position restorers find themselves. No-one can challenge them. If even Gombrich, perhaps the greatest art historian ever, should fail and be humiliated so disgracefully, that just shows what enormous power restorers have.[/QUOTE]

My friend Roberts Howard once said that the opinions and abilities of restorers of paintings by masters was the equivilant of an auto body shop worker having the full capacity to design and build a Ferrari from scratch. They can't.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:52 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Hawker
You have certainly illustrated that, Scott! Very impressive speed of drying.

You may be interested in the discussion about textures which took place on the Natural Pigments forum.
http://www.naturalpigments.com/vb/sh.../2928-Textures

Later in that same thread there are some more examples of paint made with stack-processed lead white, though not very thoroughly mulled:
http://www.naturalpigments.com/vb/sh...Textures/page9

Thanks Gareth, I think I have proven my point. The materials and technique actually took years to figure out. I think my brushstrokes show crisper lines and are not as "melting" as the examples in your link. After at least 10 years of experimentation, I am convinced the secret is the oil. I almost bought some of the NP stack white last night but stopped when I realized that I can already do what I want to do with what I have. Plus I already have about 80 lbs of two other varieties in house.
I have enjoyed discussing all this with you and appreciate how few of us actually care this much about white lead brushstrokes. Linseed oil is a facinating natural product that isn't fully understood, even with all our modern science and history. I believe it would benefit anyone interested in oil paint to learn as much about it as they can.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:24 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Methvin
My friend Roberts Howard once said that the opinions and abilities of restorers of paintings by masters was the equivilant of an auto body shop worker having the full capacity to design and build a Ferrari from scratch. They can't.
An excellent analogy!

Quote:
Thanks Gareth, I think I have proven my point.....I think my brushstrokes show crisper lines and are not as "melting" as the examples in your link.
The vital thing is to be able to get exactly the paint your need for your own purposes, and you should indeed congratulate yourself for having achieved that. As far as your own development as an artist is concerned, whether or not your paint is the same as that used by the old masters is an irrelevance.
Quote:
I almost bought some of the NP stack white last night but stopped when I realized that I can already do what I want to do with what I have.
I guess I am still searching for something a little different, perhaps closer to the appearance which you describe as "melting". I am looking forward to the time when I have made some trials and can start a new thread.
Quote:
I believe it would benefit anyone interested in oil paint to learn as much about it as they can.
Well said!
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:41 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Methvin
My friend Roberts Howard once said that the opinions and abilities of restorers of paintings by masters was the equivilant of an auto body shop worker having the full capacity to design and build a Ferrari from scratch. They can't.

I recall one he said years back which went something like: "what's that dirt called that the restorers clean off? Oh that's right; Burnt Umber."
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:46 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Kingsland
I recall one he said years back which went something like: "what's that dirt called that the restorers clean off? Oh that's right; Burnt Umber."

Beautiful. I miss his missives. Thanks for sharing.

I truly learned many valuable things from Mr. Howard. He could be abrasive but he was a fountain of solid information. I owe him a great debt.
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Last edited by Scott Methvin : 11-10-2011 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:44 AM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

I have now made a trial with stack process lead white, not very successfully I fear, but may be worth looking at anyway.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...4#post14157624
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:47 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Methvin
Close view of all samples with glazing done.... Dried overnight and glazed in 24hrs with ivory black and little raw umber...
Scott, with your understanding of glazing with black I thought you might be interested in the example by Giampietrino in the latest ArtWatch post:
http://artwatchuk.wordpress.com/2011...november-2011/
The post shows how this relates to the current Leonardo exhibition.

It also descibes a glaze which covers the whole painting. The National Gallery used to deny that such glazes could have been applied, and arguably removed them - mistaking them for dirt. When the scientific department discovered a glaze that did in fact cover a whole painting, (thus showing its restorers to have been wrong), the gallery kept very quiet about it.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:26 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Hi Gareth,
Very interesting reading, particularly because glazing is key IMO to Leonardo and the other fellows' finished works. How else can they be accomplished? These restorer fools don't paint they analyse and puff out their chests. Rediculous. They probably took off hundreds of top layer value glazes from many, many priceless old master paintings.
Thanks for sharing the link.
best,
Scott
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:46 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

In reading Nerdrum's blog, You find that he added honey wax to the Maroger. There are some very well known artists that use Maroger and have not had a problem...Could it not be that Nerdrums addition of honey wax was the problem?
Neil Heimsoth
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:27 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by heimat
In reading Nerdrum's blog, You find that he added honey wax to the Maroger. There are some very well known artists that use Maroger and have not had a problem...Could it not be that Nerdrums addition of honey wax was the problem?
Neil Heimsoth

Nerdrum himself is convinced that the mastic resin in Maroger medium was the source of the problem, and that is consistent with what's known about mastic in conservation science circles. Wax is also potentially problematic, and might well have been a factor in the early deterioration of Nerdrum's paintings, but meguilp jelly mediums made with mastic have a long history of causing problems in oil paintings, going back to the middle of the 18th century.

We cannot assume that just because there are some recently-painted oil paintings done with mastic meguilp aka Maroger medium that appear to be in good condition today that therefore all is well and that there will be no problems developing that will show up later.

Mastic is a bad ingredient in oil paintings. This is known. Many a great painting was done without it, so there is no reason to consider it essential to high-level painting.

Virgil Elliott
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:36 PM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

I'll be the first to admit that I know very little about this Maroger medium. From what I have read on this thread, the effects that it does give sound a lot like copal medium. How are the two different if at all?
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:18 PM
vermilion237 vermilion237 is offline
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Hello, I'm sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I was browsing the internet and I saw this, if you're still looking for suggestions I have a couple. This is my first post and I have been painting for only three years or so, so by no means an expert in mediums etc, but I wondered if you have come across the work of Louis Velasquez? He is a painter and researcher living in California I think, who contends that Rembrandt and Diego Velazquez used sun-thickened flax ('linseed') oil mixed with calcium carbonate to make a gooey paste, which is added to the paint - and they also used an emulsion, which is made by beating the white of an egg, and mixing the froth with some sun-thickened oil to make a mayonnaise, which is then spread over the canvas or panel with your fingers.

This creates a thin slippery film which the brushstrokes can glide over, and it is possible to achieve the kinds of strokes you are asking about, by using this method. I have been using this method for a little while now. I have examined several of Rembrandt's paintings at close quarters, and it really does look as if he painted on a film of emulsion, as described by Louis Velasquez. Apologies if you know this already, I just wanted to put it out there, in fact I joined this forum to do so!

Last edited by vermilion237 : 01-30-2015 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:24 AM
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

Thanks for your message, Vemillion237,
I am indeed interested in receiving any suggestions. Unfortunately I have not had time to take my own trials any further since the discussion you have seen already.

I was aware of the work of Louis Velasquez, but have not tried out his suggestions, although in the past I have tried adding chalk and oil. I have also tried the mediums put up by Natural Pigments as 'Impasto' and 'Velazquez' mediums.
http://www.naturalpigments.com/oil-p...=all&c=mediums

Several people have reported being able to achieve excellent effects with these, although I was not so succesful. This could well be because I have not had enough time to practice, and is no criticism of the mediums themselves.

If you have been getting good results I wonder if you would be prepared to post some photographs here? Thanks again for you contribution. It is good to keep this subject alive even though I regret I shall not be able to do any serious testing myself - at least not in the near future.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:47 AM
vermilion237 vermilion237 is offline
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Re: Maroger thread continuation

I have some photos up in the 'Painting from the Masters' section, 'Velazquez Sketch', although they are only done with the oil and chalk medium and not with the emulsion as well. It's the emulsion that really allows the kind of long flowing stroke you mention. I will put some more photos up after I get back home next week.

Last edited by vermilion237 : 01-31-2015 at 09:50 AM.

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