15 July 2012

Lemons Trompe

15.5 x 12.5 inches oil on hardboard

Following on from my last post, I have continued the theme of 'trompe l'oeil' (fool the eye) and will have two more to post over the next few days.
They do take longer than the usual paintings because of the effect I am trying to achieve of making them look as though they are coming out of the surface.

detail - twice life size

I have gone back to using Liquin Original as my medium after some scary mishaps with experiments with traditional and modern varnish mediums. Last month I had to sand down (!) and wash two paintings with turps (very scary) to strip off the varnish. Luckily, all turned out well with only minor retouching ..... phew!!!!!

A lot of painting is a compromise for me:
I never seem to find the 'just right' surface to paint on, medium to paint with or brushes with the right feel. I keep experimenting but I usually have to settle on something I am not 100% happy with.
For anyone interested here are some examples:
Surfaces .... I have tried cotton, linen, ready gessoed panels of different kinds of board (oil primed and acrylic primed) and self primed hardboard (oil and acrylic). 
Firstly, I have always found acrylic gesso too absorbent and the surface doesn't become optimal for me until after at least four coats of underpainting when it becomes mostly non-absorbent and the colours don't 'sink in' (when the oil is absorbed from the new paint by the layer below leaving the new colours dull and chalky the next day - this is easily solved by 'oiling out'* though). Oiling out involves brushing (or in my case, using fingers) to put a very, very thin coat of medium over the dull areas. This is also great to paint into and helps with blending into the layer below. It is also sometimes referred to as a couche/couch (which means 'a coat/layer' in French: sous couche=under coat).

This looks like it is going to waffle on more that I though so I will continue it in the next post ;-)

......to be continued


  1. These lemons are sheer perfection, amazing surfaces! When life gives you lemons...you really know what to do with them!

  2. Love your beautiful painting, and your comments, Paul. My problem is paint brushes...just keep hoping I'll find the good ones eventually. They must be out there somewhere. Right?

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