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Valentine's Day Painting of the Week

I have not had the chance to post an image of this painting yet, so this one is a Holly Bianchi Fine Art Blog exclusive for the moment. In honor of Valentine's Day last week I painted this 5"x7" still life of strawberries and ice cream.

I made a short video showing my process. This painting a week was done differently from my previous ones, as I used a glazing technique, rather than my usual direct painting method. The result is a painting that has something of a stained glass effect in specific areas. This is a technique only achievable in oils.

From the first frame in the video, you see sepia-toned painting. This is an underpainting or grisaille [pronounced: gri-zahyz]. With the power of technology, I turned my reference photo into a black and white image and used only burnt umber and white oil paint to set the values of the painting. This took maybe a few hours and then it was left to dry.

Once this underlayer was dry (burnt umber dries very quickly, about a day) you then see me applying the reds to the strawberries and the background. The red pigments are mixed with a glazing medium (I use 50% linseed oil & 50% Gamsol) to lower their viscosity, thus making them more fluid. Then I add in the highlights using white, cadmium yellow, and cadmium red, and blend it all together. But I don't over-blend; the intention here is to have a cohesive painting that still retains a painterly feel.

More coats of red and blue glazes were added to the background of this painting, but I didn't record much of the completion of this piece. The layering of glazes is what creates the stained glass effect.

Pigments used:

Flake White Replacement

Cadmium Red Light

Cadmium Red Medium

Alizarin Crimson

Cadmium Yellow Medium

Permanent Green Light

Phthalo Blue

Burnt Umber

Valentine's day strawberries and ice cream oil painting
Strawberries N' Ice Cream. Available.

Questions about this process? Leave a comment below if you enjoy seeing content like this in my blog posts. Last month's post I also discussed my painting process, but in photo form. Do you like seeing videos of the process instead?

P.S. If you want a chance to vote on the next week's painting of the week, look for my poll on Instagram at the end of every week.



Glazing Technique: applying a transparent layer of paint over a dried layer of opaque paint

Direct Painting: method of painting used to create paintings in a single sitting. also known as alla prima, which translates to "at first attempt."

Grisaille: a monochromatic underpainting usually done in neutral grays.

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