Dante’s Inferno Canto IV in process – Mixed Technique: Tempera Under-painting and Resin-Oil Finish.
ILLustration in Process of Canto IV, Limbo
Almost finished…(Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy)
The mixed technique is oil paint and egg tempera. The resin-oil drying time is more than a few days.
When drying a painting with this kind of mixture make sure the painting is isolated for a few days since all varnishes are volatile and harmful.
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is as Divine as Epic Poetry gets. There’s nothing pretty about the poem to paint and art has never been about painting a pretty pictures.
I’ve posted three sessions, the other sessions in between were mistakes taken off of the canvas. ;).
Dante’s Inferno Canto IV in process – Mixed Technique: Tempera Underpainting and Resin-Oil Finish.
Illustration in Process of Canto IV Limbo.
Canto IV Session 12
“and I lost hope of reaching the hilltop. I was like a man who takes his gains willingly, but when the time comes to lose, weeps and is full of sadness. The beasts came at me and little by little pushed me back down the slope toward the dark wood, where the sun did not shine.”
I found Jim Belton’s modern language version on word press; he’s been re-writing The Divine Comedy – by Dante Alighieri. Click here to read Canto I.
I’m putting the imagery together and keeping my rough draft in mind.
According to the poem. There is a luminous castle in Limbo.
So, this is the under-painting with gold leaf, egg tempera and oils.
This is where I left off today.
In the spring there’s a lot of light and colorful motif, but it all goes away when the fall comes in. That’s the season I prefer to do tempera painting; when it’s not too hot.
Make sure the corners are squared.
This is called Duck-Cloth. It’s made of good quality cotton and is inexpensive. After stretching the canvas, it is sized with glue. I use rabbit skin glue ( in the white coffee cup) brushed on the canvas lightly with a wide brush.
Once the canvas has been sized and is completely dry, it is primed. It’s made by mixing 3 equal parts of zinc oxide, calcium sulfite and rabbit skin glue. I buy these ingredients here in Madrid; most art stores have these products.
It takes about a day and a half to stretch, size and prime a canvas because of the drying time.
I made a quick charcoal drawing on the canvas to put everything more or less where it belongs.
Here is my set up with newspaper, brushes, spray bottle, pigments, water container. This is a water-based medium.
Pigment mixed with emulsion and water container
When the emulsion and the pigments are mixed together, they should stand up, not run to meet the surface of the table.
This is the first session.
Session 2. Building up Color.
This is the 3rd session. One of the things I like about painting is that I don’t know exactly what it will look like when it’s finished. This painting is still in process.
Virgil and Dante start on their journey through the ante-inferno where those who looked the other way and the cowardly mingle with the neutral angels on the Acheron riverside desiring to cross over. Charon sees Dante and Virgil and tells them to find another way across the Acheron River.
Starting with a rough draft in watercolor from a thought is the way I sometimes begin a painting; continuing with tempera and finishing with Resin-oil is how I might finish a painting.
I usually do some small rough drafts before starting a painting. These first five drafts are watercolors.
So anyway, this is just what I did. I started with five or six small rough drafts in watercolor. I picked one and started a 80 cm x 100 cm canvas painting of the watercolor in egg tempera technique. After copying the watercolor as best I could, I continued building up the idea and the paint. I finished with resin-oil which gives the finish a candied look.
I like big formats, so I try to have a clear idea. I like large but not too large sizes like 80 cm x 100 cm and 150 cm x 100 cm.
Tempera is great for under-painting or you can leave it as is – unvarnished. It’s so quick and changeable and accepts oil over-painting perfectly well as a finished painting.
The thought is that I’m interested in robotics in the sense of West World and Artificial Intelligence; two emotionally impacting movies I saw that surprised me.
I’ve been looking at some of the latest robots in you tube as well as other things and fiction is becoming reality as usual.
My painting is about how fiction and reality are closely knit.
There is something about robots; I’m sure you’ve noticed too.
Resin Oil on Canvas – In Process