Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beginnings-More Richard Schmid

 by Richard Schmid

The second of Richard Schmid's "beginning" methods (he has six in total) is similar to his first and is called a Transparent (oil) Monochrome Block-In ( I'll call it TMBn to shorten it a bit)The TMBn is basically a value study done in one color on a white support.  This method is a good one because you work out all the problems of values, drawing, and edges without worrying about color.  Schmid suggests using a warm red, a mixture of transparent oxide red, burnt sienna, and with a touch of ultramarine blue.  Other colors can be substituted to create a warm paint color such as red brown and terra rosa with a little of the ultramarine blue.  However, stay away from Vandyke brown or burnt umber because of their cracking potential.  Brush on the block-in paint for dark values and wipe away paint to get light values.  

Schmid's third "beginning" method is similar to but just a little different than methods one and two.  Schmid calls method three The Transparent Monochrome As a Finished Painting.  Method three is like method two but carries the process further by adding transparent color and/or add opaque whites in the last stages.  Texture may be added too by a light rubbing of sandpaper, or steel wool, or palet knife scraping.

There are three more ways to begin a painting according to Schmid. I will review these in future blog posts.  I must say, however, that I love the monochromatic studies—they stand alone very well.  Try these methods for yourself and let me know what you experienced.  What did you like about each? Which beginnings method do you use most of the time?


  1. I think Richard paints right over this block-ins, doesn't he? Do you think it would help to let them dry? Granted, you'd have to wait a long time for the model to come back. But what about a still life?

  2. I am guessing you are talking about the third method. The second one is only the warm red tonal painting. The third, only the light is added. These are not only beginnings but an end in of themselves. Knowing the other three methods that I will be sharing I can say he does away with the block-in like in the earlier methods.


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