With the addition of a layer of green glaze over the greys of the leaves on the right hand side comes some clarity of the position of the flowers that will pop out of the foliage. I’m always surprised at the variety of colours when putting a glaze over en grisaille work – it looks as if there are several greens here; in fact this is all one pigment: Sap Green painted over the value work of the earlier layer. I’m really looking forward to getting the blues down onto the morning glory flowers once the greens are complete.

The dress on the left, now pink and settling into the painting as if it was always thus, works well, and I’ve added some detail to it with some subtle touches of Cadmium Red and a little Foundation White; the red to deepen shadows and define edges, and the white to bring bright lights to the tops of folds in the fabric and to distinguish the hems of the wrap. I held off from working on building shadows below the arm and on the right side of the body so that the reds and whites can dry thoroughly.

The Magician is ready to paint, with the sealing coat of Iron Oxide dry, fixing the drawing indelibly beneath its warm tones. It’s been nagging at me a bit today, almost like a persistent child wanting attention. Maybe I’ll start work on it before I complete the Empress.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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