Here is the second page of information (referred to in yesterday’s post) that I provide to patrons so they can become more acquainted with the process that goes into creating their classical-style painting. Its title is “On The Process and Materials Used in Your Painting” and here is the link and the text:


I hope you find it helpful.

On The Process and Materials

Used in Your Painting


This painting was created with the finest professional materials,

following the procedures of the Old Masters of the Renaissance. 

The process begins with a carefully selected piece of marine-grade

plywood from fine-grained hardwood or masonite.  The Old Masters

would have used this if it had been available since it does not split

or crack like wood panel, and is highly resistant to warping.


Six to ten coats of Renaissance Bonded Marble are applied to create

a highly reflective white surface.  The ground needs to be as white as

possible because the oil binding in the paint becomes more

translucent with age, thus more light from the white ground is

refracted through it.  This is why the Old Master paintings seem to

have so much depth and luminosity.


Preparatory sketches are used to make a complete, highly-detailed

charcoal drawing directly onto the surface.


Following that, a precise underpainting is executed in verdaccio,

azuraccio, grisaille, or bistre, depending upon the subject.


The medium used is made from these ingredients:

a.  the finest purified, cold-pressed, clear golden linseed oil;

b.  stand oil, used extensively by the Old Masters;

c.  triple-rectified turpentine, the most important of the painter’s

essential oils;

d.  and, dammar varnish is included in the medium, as well as

being the final protective (and removable) coat.


I believe it is the professional painter’s responsibility to warrant

their patron’s trust by ensuring that their purchase will endure the

ages.  I use as few mass-market art materials as possible.  I make

my own dammar varnish and stand oil and trust two or three cottage

colormen for mulling and preparing my tubes of oil paint, thereby allowing

me more personal control over the quality of pigment and grinding oils used.

~~Marsha Rhodes Gilliam

© Marsha Gilliam 2005

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