Oil Painting: Step by Step: Joseph Gyurcsak's "Subtle Grays"

7 May 2008

In the December 2007 issue of American Artist, Joseph Gyurcsak used the work of Giorgio Morandi and Paul Cézanne to help illustrate lessons on developing paintings. Here, we present a step by step demonstration of his painting Subtle Grays.

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The Setup

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Gyurcsak began this demonstration by setting up his easel, palette, and still life arrangement under the same light so that his color mixing would be more accurate. Notice how his easel is positioned approximately three feet from the subject, a perfect distance for the sight-size method.
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Step 1
The artist next did a preliminary drawing—using a combination of Venetian red and ultramarine blue—to work out his proportional and compositional concerns before beginning to add color.
Step 2
Focusing on the largest sections of color in each object, Gyurcsak next mixed appropriate color mixtures using a limited palette. The artist explains that using a limited palette helps him maintain color harmony and unity throughout the painting.
Step 3
Gyurcsak continued to work the entire painting by intensifying color in the background and foreground, always evaluating and comparing color by its value, temperature, and intensity.
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Step 4
Once he had established an overall feel of the colors throughout the painting, Gyurcsak worked on his lighter tones, avoiding the use of white until the end.
Step 5
As he massed in his light, middle, and dark values, the forms of the objects began to turn and take shape.
Step 6
Bringing the painting to completion, Gyurcsak worked on his edges, added highlights, and finished details, making sure he did not add unnecessary color or brushstrokes that might ruin the fluidity of the painting.


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Comments

folakemi adenekan wrote
on 29 Oct 2007 5:06 AM
i would like to learn more about your technique. am an aspiring artist and think work is fantastic.
Mark Gottsegen wrote
on 30 Oct 2007 3:11 PM
Bravo, Joe. Very nice painting, too!
Eunice Lee wrote
on 30 Oct 2007 8:48 PM
I appreciate knowing the processes that you use. There is a lot more to painting than just putting paint on a canvas. I also have enjoyed the painting you have done at Capital Assembly. You make the figures come alive. Congratulations on this honor.
Joan Najarian wrote
on 31 Oct 2007 9:55 AM
I love seeing the painting come to life under your brush. It's so helpful to see the stages a good painting goes through to fruition. More like this, please.
robin jareaux wrote
on 26 Feb 2008 7:47 AM
For me, your beautiful painting was finished at step number four.
on 13 Jan 2013 9:02 AM

What limited palette did you use please? How  did you mix your grays please?