We left off with my first finished drafts
on silk, above. I learned a lot… and now I had to move into true oil painting,
taking advantage of the slow drying
of the oil paints to blend, and having
a greater understanding of the problems
of painting on silk. It was time for me
to blend and finish these test pieces.
Again, I started with the circle.
I also worked out the lettering + border.
The white circle took two coats of the Titanium Zinc White to cover.
Titanium Zinc was chosen as it is a very bright white to mimic a lead white,
but is not as brittle as Zinc White. I traced my lettering and tried our gold paints, comparing both against the original. Neither the Titanium White border
nor Pale or Rich Gold from the tube was just right.
It is hardest to duplicate a finish that has aged, whether shellac or paint.
Years of environmental factors created the color we perceive, not pigments.
Also, many pigments from years past are now illegal, and so hard to obtain,
though conservators can purchase them for reparation on damaged paintings.
This reproduction did not qualify for mixing the older pigments,
such as a lead white, for both cost reasons and also toxicity.
And, our pigments are against the original color of the silk,
emerald green, not the faded silk of the original flags current state.
I mixed Titanium White going into a warm cream by adding Titanium Buff,
but that was not the direction with pigments;
then finally mixed a warm grey that was right, and batched a small tube of that formula.
The golds available needed to be bright, warm, and crisp. Mixing the two “golds” was a start — the rich gold was creamy and the pale gold, a bronze, bright. I added a bit of ocher to further warm and darken. This was batch mixed, placed into a tube, and sealed.
I completed two more test runs on silk, one without the border, above,
where I worked more on finishing his face…
and one with the border, above left and below. On the second is face is left rough.
All paints are Gamblin Oil Paints, made in Portland Oregon.