Oil Painting: Ismael Checo's Materials and Techniques

0704chectease5_600x367_2In the June 2007 issue of American Artist, we explored how Ismael Checo uses rich color to create an exotic and intense experience of the world. Here, we present an online exclusive still-life demo as another example of his oil technique.


0704chectease1_600x408Checo’s Materials
*oil paints from various manufacturers including Holbein, Winsor & Newton, and Gamblin
*bristle and sable brushes from various manufacturers
*mostly lead-primed linen
*occasionally a panel made of MDF board primed with acrylic gesso from Liquitex
*a mixture of stand oil and gum turpentine
As a final varnish, Rembrandt synthetic varnish from Talens.


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Step 1
The artist begins by drawing with a wash made of ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and flake white. The shadows are washed in to create a simple grisaille rendering of the subject massed into the simplest and clearest shapes.
Step 2
Using a bristle brush, the artist applies color in broad strokes to establish the major relationships in the composition.
Step 3
Working slowly and paying great attention to the color impression at each point in the image, the artist makes simple, clear statements mixing and placing one color at a time. The artist is inclined to exaggerate the saturation of the color slightly with the understanding that he will be able to go back later and add gray if needed. Although the artist does some blending and scumbling with the brush, he is careful not to overwork the image.
Step 4
In some cases, the artist will change to a sable brush toward the end of the painting to achieve a more delicate and more highly rendered finished work.

The Completed Painting: Still-life Demonstration
2003, 10 x 15½. Collection the artist.

Read the feature article on Ismael Checo, and view more examples of his work.

To view more artwork, check out the June 2007 issue of American Artist today!

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