Sunday, November 22, 2009

Painting over another old painting..it's becoming my thang


I am the self-appointed Queen of the paint-over! Hey..this is sort of a "green" thing, isn't it? Green as in Recycle! Today's experiment went pretty smoothly, although I had to deal with some temptation to leave the original (failed) painting in here and there. (Talk about green!). Usually it's easy to tune out the old painting..but today was a challenge for sure! 3/4's of the way through I was really wishing I would have painted it onto a plain canvas (because there was a skirmish going on between the new shapes and the old ones). In the end, however, --my painting is pretty much what I envisioned.
To paint over an old painting:


1. Sand the "bad" painting:

2. Mix Galkyd Lite and mineral spirits together (50/50%) and slather it onto the surface with a gloved hand*

3. Establish the overall design of the painting, making certain to show the shadow side of things as well as the cast shadows
(use a color that won't go muddy with other colors..I used purple):

4. a. paint the darkest dark, b. paint the lightest light, c. paint the "easiest" color (this time: green!) d. cover the entire surface quickly..(the purple/blue background was important to get in so I could know how everything else will relate)

5. When painting something familiar (like apples) provide a variety of reds in color spots to create the illusion of shape..(don't paint your apples all one red!)

* I learned this sand/galkyd routine in Kevin MacPherson's book (although he doesn't paint over a completely different painting like I do). It is remarkable how much it feels like you are painting wet into wet just like you would if you weren't painting over something..you should try it!
(and thanks to Elio Camacho, who once specifically gave me lesson in painting apples!)!

8 comments:

Sheila said...

Oh thank you so much for taking the time to show how to BEST paint over a painting. I haven't been happy with the way I've been doing it (about 1/2 of what you've done to prepare) so now I have your blueprint for success. Love this painting also. You've used most of my favorite colors. Now just to learn how to paint as successfully as you....

-Don said...

This is a gorgeous painting. I especially love your color choices. Thanks for sharing your going green process. I don't know that I could ever paint over one of my old ones. -Don

Caio Fernandes said...

i wish i could dive deep into these colors now .
so beautiful !!

Bonnie said...

I recently heard someone talk while doing a demo. He said he never takes any painting more seriously than to think of it as the underpainting of the next.

About a recent sale, he said that he thinks they bought the one underneath!

ArtSparker said...

Sweetly melodic colors - The foliage in the vase seems almost in movement.

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Hi Celeste,

I like painting over old paintings as well. Sometimes the colors are more bold and beautiful when painting over an old ptg b/c you have to really put in your colors in a way to overpower and compete with what is below, making a more dynamic painting overall.

Thanks for taking photos of the step by step. I am curious what the galkyd lite mixture does? Does it give a good tooth for your new painting to stick to?

Liz

Celeste Bergin said...

eLIZabeth..MacPherson showed an example in his book of a plein air painting that he was "correcting"... so he was salvaging the image underneath. I think a lot of landscape painters often scrape down a painting done in the field and then use that original image to build a better studio landscape on top. My version of the paint over is a bit different..but the galkyd lite and mineral spirits "re-establishes" a feeling of direct painting onto a dry surface. I hope you'll try it!

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Thanks Celeste, I will try it, it sounds interesting. Liz