The Finishing Layer, our final oil painting layer in the flemish, indirect method of oil painting

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This is your final finishing layer for your painting.  Here you will put on your final touches, signature and after painting has dried, the varnish coat.

Below you see a close up of the wine jug.  It has already had it's final color coats (not much really except for some touch ups from the dead layer and a deep blue accents pushed a little deeper by adding in additional ultramarine blue to the lines.

I come back in with small dabs of white/yellow mixture of paint.  It is applied thickly with little medium.

oil painting ceramics

I then used a very small correcting brush and finally a few wisps of the mop brush.

painting of pot

These softened out nicely.  As it is a clay (fired) piece, it's highlights are not as sharp and the dew drops or reflection off of chrome or glass.

painting a highlight

Here I have finished the grapes, but have shot some closeups to show the details.  On each grape in the final finishing layer I have added certain detail.  On the right side is a touch of yellow/red or orange that simulates a secondary light source. 

This is in addition to the main light from the left.

Remember, no two grapes are the same.  Each has it's own character!

oil painting of grapes

Also notice that a great deal of the dead layer show through on each grape.  This mimics the gray dusty coating on fresh grapes that is usually wiped away in handling or from dew drops dripping down the skin.

Below is the completed finishing-layer of the painting.  I've added some lighter area's to the background to simulate a window frame.  And of coarse the signature on the bottom.

flemish oil painting

And here is the 2nd painting used for our examples.  Both of these paintings I considered successful.  Why?

Quite simple actually.  They both sold within a few weeks of completion!

It's said that the greatest compliment an artist can receive is when someone takes out that hard earned cash, and gives it to the artist for something that has no real intrinsic value other than for pleasure for the eyes!

I'm thankful for the many people that view this work as having value.  May your travels be filled with people that wonder at your work also.  Keep within these steps, and you will succeed at this craft we call Oil Painting!

pears painting

After you've allowed your painting to dry you can put a protective varnish coat (allow at least 6 months).  If you used damar varnish in you medium, then you will need to wait several months to allow full drying of the painting.  Damar varnish is then brushed on with a large flat brush then laid down to allow the varnish to settle to an even coat.  Keep your painting covered with a box to keep dust from settling on it also.

If you used the Alkyd medium in your mixtures, you need to wait but a few days.  Then re-apply the Liquin directly to the painting using a flat brush.  As this medium is very thick, the painting can be leaned against a wall (paint side towards the wall) to dry and prevent dust from getting to it.

You can even just oil out your painting as you have been doing in-between layers for a protective coat that is quick, easy, and will work fine for the first number of years to protect your work and bring up the sunken dark areas so that they are deeper in tone.  See this video for another artist great explanation of the process, and how he does it!

Now didn't I tell you that each layer gets easier.  The finishing layer is a very quick final application of highlights, a few water drops, and your signature.  In most paintings it is completed in less that an hour!  It's always a good day in my studio, because I usually have several pieces in the pipeline that end up be completed on the same day.  My gallery owner loves this because her clients love choices!

If you've enjoyed these lessons, but you feel you need more, then check out the e-book, or the DVD movie demonstration of the entire process.  You'll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable they are.  Just click on the image!


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