Painting on Copper by Ann Moeller Steverson
Painting on copper is a different experience. Anyone who has seen a work on copper in person knows there is a different quality and vibrancy to the intensity of the pigment. But compared to painting on canvas, painting on copper is a new and wild adventure and has an entirely different feel.
The usual smooth surface of copper is very slick so unless you have the mad wizard mastery of an artist like Steven Assael, the natural surface is best addressed with patience and a plan. Otherwise, you are just sliding around in your socks and underwear risky business style. I suggest starting by working in a block in of a thin translucent glowing first layer and then planning to build up by paint by adhering to thinner layers of pigment below. Think of sticking a stack of sticky notes together.
I love the freedom of painting on the textured copper panels offered by Artefex. With these finely abraded panels, I can go as thin or as thick on the first layer as I want and it holds the brush stroke perfectly. There are no big canvas bumps to flight, so my paint goes much farther. The resulting brush strokes become more a reflection of the character of the brush used and the wielder rather than the texture of the surface. The amount of detail possible is incredible when there is little to no surface interference. The first layer can feel slightly thirsty, so if you want extra movement, just oil in the copper first or add a quick thin wash of solvent. The goal is to have the paint grip without interference.
The traditional method of working dark to light with very thin darks works exceptionally well when painting on copper panels. I have found that translucent shadows can be created with a beautiful transparent oxide color (brown, red, or yellow) or any mixed dark oil paint, and is a lovely way to start that keeps a warm glow. If I want to soften the marks to keep the shadow areas simple, I lightly brush over the shadow shapes with a gentle mongoose or badger hair paint brush. Lead white makes a particularly appealing stand on the copper panel where I want to develop all the subtle value shifts, fine details and lively brushstrokes in the lights of the painting. I usually shift the lights cooler to play against the warm shadows. I like to leave peak of exposed copper color in the mid tones and transitions, which adds harmony to the piece. The overall effect of warm shadows, with the exposed copper transitions, serve to unify the painting beautifully and contrast vibrantly to the cool lights. In short, the result is “zazzle.”
The effect of the painting support on the overall look of my work is transformative. After all, when it comes to painting supports, it’s literally what’s underneath that counts.
We are excited to introduce a new store to the Artefex family. The new Flax store is finally ready to open its doors. A great location right next to the new home of the San Francisco school of art, makes this an easy to get to store for the local artist. Flax currently carries the Rublev Oils colours, but is planing to carry other Artefex products soon. Check them out at Building D, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA.
If you are looking for quality art materials in the north San Francisco Bay area, RileyStreet Art Supply in San Rafael and Santa Rosa should be your first stop. The knowledgeable staff is perhaps the most impressive asset these stores posses. The stores close proximity to the Natural Pigments factory (where Rublev Colours Artist Oils and Watercolors, Ceracolors and Artefex Panels are made) gives these stores the unique ability to visit our facilities and learn first hand, how we make our products. In addition, some of the key staff have also attended the Painting Best Practices workshop. A workshop George O’Hanlon and Tatiana Zaytseva teach to educate artists about the differences in art materials throughout history and the importance of using quality art materials. This is why we are proud to announce that Riley Street Art Supply is now representing Artefex Panels, Rublev Colours Artist Oils and oil painting mediums.
We will be at the RileyStreet Santa Rosa store for their annual Anniversary Sale on Saturday, June 27th, 2015. We will be there to answer questions and provide a lecture and demonstration on Rublev Colours Artist Oil and Artefex Panels.
RileyStreet Art Supply is located at 103 Maxwell Court in Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Rublev Colours Watercolor Pans displays are small, lightweight cases that fit almost anywhere in your store. The display cases can remain closed to avoid inventory shrinkage, which often occurs with small items, and at the same time display colors available to your customers. Pairing this display case with Rublev Colours Watercolor Travel Cases helps to drive sales as it gives customers the ability to choose their own colors from the range of watercolors available from Rublev Colours.
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