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I recently was re-acquainted with a friend from high school on Facebook. Looking through his photos, I came across this picture of his hat rack. I thought the arrangement makes an interesting composition, and decided to paint from his picture. I probably should get his permission – but – somehow I don’t think he would mind. For this painting, I am using a 36 X 48 inch gallery wrapped canvas. I like working big and this composition is just the right proportion for this size canvas, making the hats just a little larger than lifesize.

Step 1 –  Sometimes I grid my canvas and drawing to get as accurate placement possible, and other times I freehand which I have done here. I draw my image with large graphite sticks. Once I have my arrangement, I’ll outline with black gesso, and this gives the painting more of a sense of illustration.

Step 2 –  I applied a wash of thinned Holbein’s Blue Grey oil paint on the background. Layers of color will be added as I continue.

Step 3 –  Again, I applied a wash of Holbein’s Monochrome Tint to the hats. In the morning I’ll study this with my coffee, and may decide to add a second wash to both background and hats. After that – the real fun begins!

– Mark