Dante’s Inferno Canto IV Modern Language Version. Written by Jim Belton and Illustrated by Victoria Olson.

Canto IV Limbo 2017

The next day, we came to the foot of a noble castle, circled seven times by high walls. A fair creek encircled the walls, but we crossed it as if it was hard ground. I went in through the seven gates with the sages, and we came to a healthy green meadow.

Jim Belton’s modern language version of Canto II by Dante Alighieri. Click here to read Canto IV.

 

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Figure Painting

Dante’s Inferno Canto IV in process – Mixed Technique: Tempera Underpainting and Resin-Oil Finish.

Illustration in Process of Canto IV Limbo.

Canto IV Limbo

Canto IV Limbo Last Session

Canto IV Session 8a

Canto IV Session 12

Canto IV Session 8b

Canto IV Session 11

Canto IV Session 8c

Canto IV Session 10

Canto IV 8d

Canto IV Session 9

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Canto IV Session 8

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Canto IV Session 7

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Canto IV Session 6

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Canto IV Session 5

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Canto IV Session 4

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Canto IV Session 3

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Canto IV Session 2

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Canto IV Session 1

 

 

 

Dante’s Inferno Canto II Modern Language Version. Written by Jim Belton and Illustrated by Victoria Olson.

Beatriz Summons Virgil

Dante’s Inferno Canto II (55) Beatriz Summons Virgil in Limbo 2012

“I was among those who are suspended in Limbo, when a Lady called me. She was so blessed and beautiful that I asked her to command me. Her eyes were more luminous than the stars, and she began to speak to me sweetly and quietly, with an angelic voice, in her own tongue.”

Jim Belton’s modern language version of Canto II by Dante Alighieri. Click here to read Canto II.

 

Figurative Mixed Media Painting Process of Canto IV, an Illustration of Limbo inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy

I start with stretcher bars.

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73 cm x 100 cm or 28.74 in x 39.37 in

I’m using duck cloth. It’s heavy, plain woven cotton fabric.

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duck cloth

I mounted the material on the stretcher bars, gave it a thin coat of rabbit skin glue (let it dry) and then I primed it.  Primer:  Mix equal amounts of zinc oxide, calcium sulfate and rabbit skin glue.  Pour the rabbit skin glue into the zinc oxide and calcium sulfate little by little mixing with a brush.

Primer

Primer

Here is the primed canvas on the easel.

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Primed Canvas

Egg tempera emulsion is made by mixing an egg, oil, varnish and water together in a tall flask of equal proportions, shaking after each ingredient in that respective order.

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Mixing the Emulsion

I started off using these earth colors: blanco de España, zinc oxide, verde Veronese, transparent gold ocher and vine black.

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Dry Pigment with Emulsion and Spatula for mixing

This is what the pigments look like when mixed with the emulsion.  This is a water based medium.

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Pigment mixed with emulsion and water container

Egg tempera can be watered down as thinly as you like, but not always as thick as you like.

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Session 1 egg tempera under painting in process

I start adding color and still painting thinly.

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Session 2 egg tempera under painting

This is the under painting.

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Session 3 egg tempera under painting

Canto IV describes a castle emanating a fire-like-light in limbo within a dark forest void of light.

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Session 4 egg tempera under painting

I used gold leaf to represent the light.

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Gold leaf

I paint the area where I want to put the gold leaf on because the canvas has to be sealed or the gold leaf won’t stick.

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Session 5 gold leaf

Here, I’ve just started to use oil color.  I mixed dry pigment with poppy seed oil.  When mixed, the paint should stand up like butter.

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Session 6 oil painting

Resin oil is a mixture of stand oil, thickened linseed oil and venetian turpentine.

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Session 7 resin oil

With wet resin oil, you can paint hair-line brush strokes into it with egg tempera and switch back and forth with tempera and oil.  This is a mixed media.  You must always follow the rule of fat over lean.

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Canto IV, Limbo Session 8

 I’m waiting for this painting to dry completely so I can decide whether I want to stop or continue.

Egg Tempera Figurative Painting Process

Here I’m posting some of the steps of mounting a canvas and starting a tempera painting.
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Here is the stretched and primed canvas on the easel ready to use.

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.

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This is the first step; stretcher bars.

Make sure the corners are squared.

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Step 2; Canvas Material.

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.

Primer

Primer

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. 

Primed Canvas

Primed Canvas

Primed.

It takes about a day and a half to stretch, size and prime a canvas because of the drying time.

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Charcoal drawing on canvas

I made a quick charcoal drawing on the canvas to put everything more or less where it belongs.

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Mixing the Emulsion

Here is my set up with newspaper, brushes, spray bottle, pigments,  water container. This is a water-based medium.

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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.

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Session 1 Light egg tempera under painting

This is the first session.

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Session 2 Building up Color

Session 2. Building up Color.

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Session 3

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.