Tysoe’s Art Blog


Reclining Nude

by on Sep.28, 2008, under General, Work In Progress

I thought this an unusual pose with the model draped over a pile of pillows, so I made a painting. I didn’t really have a background in mind and thought I’d come up with something quite plain like the previous seated nude.

12×24 Oil on canvas

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WIP Winston Churchill meets Maat

by on Sep.09, 2008, under General, Work In Progress

Here Winston Churchill the cuter meets the Egyptian Goddess Maat.

Still got a way to go but since I took a photo, figured I’d stick it up. 24×24″ Oil on Canvas.

This painting is for Inna my wife. Winston being one of our two pug dogs. The goddess is the Egyptian goddess of truth, law and universal order. Quite fitting considering that ordering Winnie to do anything is near impossible :). My favourite part of this painting has to be Winnies expression which I captured well and is so typical of how he looks when begging for food…

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Adding Colour to the Dead Layer

by on Aug.01, 2008, under General, Work In Progress

Continuing my first attempt at the classical Flemish multilayer technique I added started painting with colour for the final layers.


The first two layers were done in acrylics for speed of drying and include the following layers:

  • Gesso Priming (Acrylic Gesso)
  • Sketch (Antelope Brown ink and pen)
  • Imprimatura (Neutral ground Ochre, Ivory black, burnt umber)
  • Umber underpainting (Burnt Umber)
  • Dead Layer (Greyscale painting for dead skin tones
  • Colour Layer (Final colour layer in Oils)

The idea is that the light will pass through the various layers of paint bringing out a lifelike glow remniscent of old master paintings who used this technique extensively right up to the 19th century.

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Small 5″ x 7″ Self Portrait

by on Jul.23, 2008, under General, Work In Progress

Over the weekend I had a go at a small self portait. Using oils on a 5×7 inch canvas board. Overall I’m quite pleased with it. I did a quick burnt Sienna and Burnt umber mix underpainting in acrylic and painted the colour in Oils.

This is only the second oil painting I have done since I left art college over 10 years ago, so not too bad. Need to practice small details so I can work better on the eyes and mouth where my lack of confidence leaves quite a lot to be desired.

The larger image is aprox actual size on my monitor.

Above is the burnt umber/sienna underpainting and finished piece side by side.

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1st Self Portrait

by on Jul.22, 2008, under General, Work In Progress

small 7″ x 5″ portait painting from a older photo with short hair.

I almost didn’t post this one since It’s a bit weak and hesitant in the painting. Originaly the skin tones were very pedestrian and I touched them up with glazes after to make it more interesting.

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M.Graham Oil Paints

by on Jul.13, 2008, under General, Materials Overview

After a lot of research I chose M.Graham oil paints. For a number or reasons both regarding the paints and the company that makes them.

M.Graham paints are unusual in that they use walnut oil as a binder instead of the usual Linseed oil most commonly found in other brands. One of the much advertised benefits of using walnut oil is that you can work solvent free. Using the Walnut medium as both a medium to mix with your paints, or to clean your brushes.

When I first started painting again, I recalled why I dropped Oils in favour of Acrylics, sacrificing many of oil paints benefits. Blendability, slow drying so you can take your time getting your paint exactly how and where you want it. Of course slow drying is also a con in that you often have to wait between applying paint layers. The other thing is having to use stinky solvents. Not only do they absorb into the skin and interfere with organs in your body, but the fumes are toxic, even in the odourless solvents formulated specially for artists.

M.Graham oil paints is a small company based in Oregon who are very environmentaly concious, and try to make Oil paints that are based on an ancient formula, but also allow you to work solvent free providing a walnut medium and solvent free alkyd walnut medium for faster drying.

I have had great results with both. The paints have very strong pigmentation, a nice buttery consistency that still retains texture and walnut oil drys clearer with less yellowing than linseed oil. One negative is that it drys slower, hence the Alkyd medium.

As well as producing Oil Paints. M. Graham take efficiency and the environment seriously in the manufacture of their paints.

These folks are mighty green. Not only do they have the solvent-free system of oil painting but 100% of the electric power used at their shop is purchased through the renewable power option. They have purchased more efficient filling equipment and reduced energy consumption by 71%. Almost all of the machinery is reconditioned/recycled–one of the fillers was built in 1951. The acrylic resin is produced in a factory about 2 miles from the shop, the bee farm that makes the honey for watercolor and gouache is about 30 miles away–so even the bees are local. The walnut oil comes from neighboring California to cut down on transportation pollution. The factory waste water used for cleaning equipment is recycled and reused for 2 weeks before it is collected for EPA certified disposal. The paperboard box packaging is all made with post-consumer recycled paper waste as is the paper used for trifolds. The cadmium pigments are by-products of zinc manufacturing which are converted from a toxic heavy metal into a “biologically unavailable” pigment that can be disposed of in garbage as solid waste. Graham products are also available in Canada through selected outlets, and www.artpurveyors.com will export from the USA to anywhere in the world.

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