23 June 2009

Sean Cheetham Workshop. Day 2

During the second day of the workshop. Sean entered into some detail about his supports and his approach to alla prima painting. His "pieces de resistance" use wood as a support. He uses MDO wood or some panels form a provider which already come framed in the back to avoid bending.

1) He then applies an acrylic sealant that he lets cure for at least a week.

2) He applies several layers of gesso allowing drying between them and some texture to occur. No sanding. Chemicals from acrylic materials easily get in the air and can be dangerous.

3) The last step pictured here is using a big trowel to smooth a last layer of molding paste which gives the surface very smooth but absorbent.

The process takes minutes in every layer but it takes two to three weeks to complete as the layers have to dry and cure completely.

He then uses graphite rubbed on a paper to transfer the drawing onto the board. The graphite in this stage is loose so he will wash it very lightly with acrylic paints. he will recreate the whole painting using acrylics almost as if they were watercolors in very very transparent layers but with accurate local colors.

We then moved on to the "interactive" part of his demonstration. Painting from a live model he demonstrated that even in a larger format, the same principles can be applied. He used a Fredrix support with Belgian linen onto which he applied a wash mostly consistent of Burnt Siena. He then established as tight a drawing with his brushes as one could hope for and moved onto the darker areas of the subject with a mix of burnt Siena, Alizarin and Olive green.Right after this stage, he mixed his fluorescent light Manganese Blue+ White mix (something ,by the way, that also Jeremy Lipking is fond of doing) and his "main" tone. From then on, he systematically built the face form the darker to the lighter areas with some balancing in between. The result was "sorollesque" and loose. Never or very rarely did he go over trodden territory. I won't post my attempt at the same subject because I made a mess of it.


David said...

Hello from Spain, Jose!

Thank you for a very interesting blog on the Cheetham workshop you attended! One of my favourist artists!
He is truly amazing!
I have one question concerning preparation of wood panels. Does Cheetham apply the modeling paste after each layer of Gesso or he applies just one layer at the end after several layers of Gesso?
All the best,
David - Barcelona, Spain

jetsonjoe said...

Hello Jose,
Great blog, lots of good honest information.
Any chance to get the Sean Cheetham images from your workshop. They do not seem to be available to view larger.
Did you get a chance to attend his workshop this summer in June or July hosted by Concept Art.
And just curious...do you know if he is still painting..his web site does not seem to be hosted anymore.
Thanks again for your great blog..you handsome devil.