The Artist’s Eye – fill layer

The Artist's Eye, oil painting by Bj. deCastro


Using a medium sized filbert brush on the flat side, I start laying in fill color. My goal here is to fill the entire canvas with the first layer of paint. This layer has less Turpenoid added in the paint mix to the consistancy of sour cream.

In oil painting, you need to paint lean to fat. Meaning, thinner to thicker paint, so as the piece cures over time, there is no ‘cracking’ from the natural movement of the under coats as the gases escape. I paint similiar to my watercolor method with many layers of color to achieve a beautiful transparency. When natural light hits the completed painting, even the ‘clownish’ underpainting colors show through for a realistic vibrancy.

There are many mediums out on the market to help the artist achieve this smooth buttery consistancy during the painting process, but since I paint in layers, I prefer the quick-drying properties of Turpenoid. This allows me to get back to the painting the next day.

After I am done laying in the color in this step, I go back over the entire painting with the same filbert brush using the side of it to blend and work the paint into the tooth of the canvas for a smooth painting session next time.