People often ask me how long it takes to complete a painting. The truth is, I have no idea. I work in layers, often letting earlier layers dry before continuing, and I always have about four to eight paintings in progress at the same time.
I use artist-grade oil paints, which I apply entirely with a palette knife.
That’s what gives my paintings so much texture, as you can see from this close up of Beached II.
Sometimes my palette paper has some interesting color combinations and designs after a work session!
I apply multiple layers of gesso with a palette knife until I completely eliminate the weave of the canvas. I like the swirls, drips and lines from the gesso; it adds an interesting texture and solidness to the painting.
I apply an initial layer, often red, purple or teal, as an under painting. You can usually see bits of this color peeking through in the finished piece.
Depending on the painting, I either begin roughing in the subject matter or building up additional layers. I like to use complementary colors. This sets up some tension and keeps the painting active and lively. Here are a few examples.
Poppies II © Kathleen Hall
In painting Poppies II, I applied five or six layers of color before I began painting the poppies. Here you can see two of the earlier stages in the painting and the final painting.
Looking Towards Otter Cliffs © Kathleen Hall
For the painting Looking at Otter Cliffs, I still worked in layers, but went directly into the actual structure of the subject.
Ellie on the Beach © Kathleen hall
Here is the first layer after the red undercoat and the final painting of Ellie on the Beach. I incorporated a bit of silver and copper paint to give the waves and sand a hint of the sunlight flashing off the surfaces.
Once the painting is dried and signed, I apply a coat of varnish to protect it. The varnish also adds shine and depth to the colors.