A Jerry’s Online Street Team Art Project with Vincent Giarrano

Professional oil painter Vincent Giarrano uses Charvin Extra Fine Oil Colors in this impressive project!

In our Artist Spotlight post about Vincent Giarrano, we learned about this award-winning oil painter and his background, and admired a selection of his atmospheric oil paintings of city life.

In this post, Vincent guides us step-by-step through the creation of one of his luminous still life paintings, explaining his process as we go. So settle in, and watch a master oil painter at work!

“Lobster with Bowl of Apples,” a Charvin Oil Painting by Vincent Giarrano

  • I start by putting on a ground; paint thinned with turpentine. I use a brush and then wipe it around just lightly. I like a sort of a warm earth tone, usually ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

  • With the same mixture I sketch out my subject. It’s more of a plan than a tight rendering. Through the painting process I know it’ll be changed or lost. It’s enough of a guide that I can concentrate on my shapes of color instead of the subject as a whole.

  • Depending on my subject, I choose something to start with. In this case the background; that way I have a better sense of relating the rest of the painting to something correctly. It’s also the furthest thing back, so I’m getting logical placement of one thing in front of another. For this painting I used a new medium; Charvin Extra Fine Painting Medium.

  • My process for this painting is to finish as I go. I concentrate on painting things only once, however if something is wrong I can always change it. I overpaint shapes slightly so I don’t wind up with gaps between color notes.

  • I paint some of the table next so as to take advantage of working wet into wet with the background. Next I move onto the apples for the same reason and also because I’m still working from back to front.

  • I’m concentrating on keeping my color notes clean and also painterly, so I use as few brush strokes as possible; one or two and then back to my paint palette.

  • As I paint, I consider my edges and choose what I feel works best; hard, soft or lost edges.

  • I work on the bowl next and use thicker paint as notes go lighter in value. The basic idea is light advances and shade recedes, so this goes along with thick paint advances or is noticed more and thin paint recedes or stays back.

  • I start painting the lobster next, finishing as I go and moving left to right; the better to see and relate to what I’ve done, being right handed. I’m going back and forth between the red notes and the dark notes. I focus on keeping my colors clean and painting the color and shapes I see. It’s important to ignore what your mind might be telling you about shapes and colors and concentrate more on what your eyes are really seeing. I finish up by painting in the table with the same things in mind.

  • Afterward I look at the piece and decide if there’s anything I missed or want to change. The only thing I do is add the shape of a table leg in the background on the bottom.

Vincent Giarrano reviews the products used in this painting:

“I liked the Raphael Oil-Primed Panel a lot, nice surface, not too rough and I didn’t need to prime or sand additional layers. The Charvin Extra Fine Oil Paints were real nice, slightly finer and creamier than my usual; Gamblin, Old Holland or W&N. I liked the Charvin painting medium and noticed a glossier luster/finish than what I usually use; it has a good flow/viscosity to it. The brushes were what I like, Vermeer Classic Mongoose Hair. My favorite are the flats.”

To follow Vincent’s process, watch this enlightening time-lapse video of various stages in the painting of Lobster with Bowl of Apples, and let us know what you think of his amazing artwork in the comments below!

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