I’m continuing to work with color over the monochrome underpainting, and am focusing on the comfy chair our young reader is occupying. I thought it would be interesting to take some progress shots as I worked to better illustrate how I’ve been going about the “overpainting” process. Below are a couple of composite images, showing a particular area of the chair in various stages of completion.

I’ start by applying a very thin coat of glaze over the dry underpainting. I’m using a roughly 1:2 mixture of linseed oil to Oleoresgel oil painting medium, into which I’ve mixed a little Burnt Umber oil paint. The painting medium adds transparency and thickness to the mixture, the linseed delays the setting time, and the burnt umber helps with the overall dry time and adds a nice warm depth to the surface. It also allows me to gauge the relative thickness of the coat I’m applying to make sure it’s consistent. This secondary layer serves a few purposes. It brings back the depth of the darker color sin the under-painting, adds a warmth and richness to the color of the under-painting, and provides a nice surface to work into with my oil paints. Burnt Umber is ideal in the mixture because it dries quickly, is fairly transparent and has a nice color when used that way, and is a relatively weak pigment that I wont have to fight with as I paint into the glaze layer.


Starting with the darkest areas of the chair, I painted directly onto/into the wet glaze layer, moving from dark to light as I turned the form of the arm of the chair. I kept everything pretty dark, intending to work back over the top with lighter colors to suggest the texture of the fabric.

I repeated the process with the pillow behind the boys back and the then the one on his right. There are quite a few areas so deep in the shadows that I didn’t paint over them at all, allowing the glazed under-painting to show through. The second composite image shows how I approached the pattern embroidered in the pillows.


I started with the layer of Burnt Umber glaze. Then I lightly sketched in the embroidered pattern with darker colors. Around the pattern I turned the form of the pillow the same way I did with the arm of the chair, moving out of the darkest areas toward the lightest. Then I filled in the patterns as felt appropriate. Finally, I worked in the textures and highlights as I did with the more regular grid/linen texture of the chair arm.

Below is an image of the entire painting with the chair competed.


To see how the painting is completed, please proceed to the next step.

To go back a step to Part One, see here.