The European Renaissance masters developed painting methods that graced their works with a light from within. I’m attempting to practice the same methods in working on still lifes.

On either linen primed with lead white, or inner glow panel, I make a precise drawing of the subject. Once satisfied with the drawing, I apply a glaze of cool yellow-green over the entire surface. This imprimatura creates a veil of color, while the drawing shows through, and acts as a ground for the application of the egg-oil emulsion that comes next.

Using Holbein titanium white dry pigment I make my own egg-oil emulsion white paint, dashed with pink. With careful application of this white on top of the imprimatura, I establish light values to define my subject. Next adding darker transparent reds, I define the shadow patterns of my subject. These values are then nuetralized by layering corresponding transparent green values over them. When these stages are finished I have an underpainting that looks much like a marble statue. The masters called this underpainting a cartoon.

The whiteness of the egg-oil shines through the many layers of transparent glazes of pure oil colors that follow, to refine the subject and give it a glow from within. The color glazes ar chosen by temperature and hue, remembering that complimentary colors vibrate when placed togather. Each subtle layer is necessary in lending a sense of life to the subject.

These methods require a great deal of patience. They are, however very rewarding to the artist—and the results are astonishing.