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In the upper Room

This painting marks the beginning of my journey into alla prima painting with oil paints - for me an exciting adventure with an unknown destination...

Philip Glass is one of my favorite composers of contemporary classical music. I admire him for the fact that he is still active and productive at well over eighty years of age. His expressive face is also an ideal subject for painting. A few days ago, he posted a photo of himself on Instagram, which I really liked and which lends itself well as a motif for my first project with oil paint in over forty years.

For my first painting, I want to do without color and only practice the new technique with light/dark shades. Nevertheless, I don't want to simply paint this painting with black, white and grey intermediate tones, but I'm opting for a color concept based on Prussian blue, umber and white. This will allow for somewhat more exciting shades of gray and blue.

Format 50/50 cm, ground canvas primed

First, I paint over the white canvas with a broad brush and spontaneous strokes in a medium shade of gray. On top of this, I paint the areas of the painting schematically and very generously in three brightness values: the light areas in warm gray tones and the dark areas in a dark, cool blue-green.

Now I change the technique and apply the paint with a palette knife in the next step to create a versatile color structure. I start with the darkest parts of the sweater and only at the end do I add a few light spots of color in the background of the motif and on the hands.

The rest is already detail work with the brush. I primarily correct mistakes that have arisen during the spontaneous brush strokes of the first two layers of paint. Afterwards, I try to work out details only where they are relevant for recognizing the person or in places that seem important to me for the overall mood of the motif.

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