Work in Progress: North Wall of the Dome. Samuel, David, Solomon, Daniel. Part 1.


A new-ish wall, a new canvas! You see the wall, and the brown lines you see is where the dividers for the paneling was.  I sanded the wall smooth where the seams were and are, and I did my best to fill the empty light fixture holes and the hole from the electrical outlet.  Today, I went to Carpet One in Melville, looking at find a quick and easy solution to the imperfections in the wall. I spoke with Dave, one of the fellows at Carpet One, and he suggested a piece of lino underlay…and voila! that is the gray piece that you  see under the canvas, between the canvas and the wall. I stapled the lino to the wall, and then I stretched the canvas as best as I could over top the lino.


A fast paced action shot taken by Peter. I am transferring my second drawing to the canvas: you are seeing me put the Prophet David on the canvas. Two prophets on the canvas…I keep exclaiming how wonderful it is to be working on the wall and not the floor!  (November 4, 2014)


As I was putting the drawings on the canvas, I was trying to fix things that I found was having Daniel’s head and hands too small for the body. Every time I walked by the drawing, I would think: head is too small. So I increased its size, as you seen here.  I also see that the halo is off center: don’t worry, I corrected that, too!


A rather high contrast photo to show that yes, they prophets are all on the canvas. Poor Samuel looks like he was shot in the chest, due to an exploding pen I used, unfortunately. It looks worse here than what it actually is; it can hardly be seen under the yellow ochre, in fact.


A close up of the poor prophet…he will be fixed soon.


Another fast paced action shot taken by my student, Peter. Here I am applying the yellow ochre, opening up the canvas and ultimately sealing my drawings. I will be back at painting in earnest on Monday, November 10. These photos were taken November 6, 2014.



Masking tape on the yellow ochre so I can paint the green with impunity.


This is the first layer of green. I put two more on, trying to make it a little more solid, but there is still the yellow ochre shining through the final layers.


Adding the brown ground. I added at least three layers as well. The usual problem that many iconographers have–and me too–is not mixing up enough colour to cover the area. There are variations in the green, and the brown…my only hope is that I got the mix right so that it matches the other prophets as well! I don’t have the room to paint with all of them on display! These recipes are the same: green being chromium oxide green, burnt umber, burnt sienna, gold green and a touch of terra verte; the brown is burnt sienna, burnt umber, and red oxide.


Second complete layer of browns.


First layer of white, and the first layers of the underpainting. I am trying another technique, called the membrane technique: painting the darkest shadows first, and then using relatively light and transparent colours to finish. What you see is the verdaccio, the shadows of the figures.


The first layers for all the decorations on the clothing. While I don’t have to paint bare feet, I do have a lot of fancy dress to contend with.


The first layers of flesh. The same mix as before, I don’t want to go too radical. I need things to be consistent for the dome….or as close as I can manage. The first membrane is raw sienna and terra verte. As a sankir, it was quite light, but as a membrane, it should work beautifully. Hopefully the heads won’t look as large as they do here–in the flesh, the head sizes of Solomon and Daniel are quite reasonable. Here, they look enormous! (November 12, 2014 a.m.)


I first began with the reds…a mixture of red ochre, cadmium red medium and cadmium red light. And then green: the green is the same green, left over from doing Moses.


Solomon and Daniel are in nearly the same outfits. The crown sets Solomon apart. I also started the blues: cobalt blue, chrome oxide green, terra verte, and black. I am trying to keep the colour as transparent as possible.


All the blues in their right places.


I used the left over pinkish quinacridone crimson or magenta…what ever I had used on Moses. I used it for David’s robes and the leggings on Daniel. I also painted some of the horn of Samuel, and expanded his head a little.


The last two things I did before deciding to retire for the evening: I painted red on Solomon’s shoes, and I painted some terra verte onto the scrolls and the inside of Solomon’s blue robe. (November 12, 2014 pm)


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