In this series of articles, Samuel Shelton offers details about three different and unique approaches he uses in his work. The two paintings presented here, and the techniques used, are… from a commissioned project he did for a church. Note his incorporation of traditional symbolism with his own unique creative expression. The articles about Techniques Number Two and Three will follow shortly.
In these paintings I have used the following colors: Treehouse White, Ivory Black, Ultramarine Blue, Transparent Red Iron Oxide, Hansa Yellow, Red 254 and Burnt Umber. The process for these paintings was rather straightforward. I began with a neutral light gray ground on panel, each 24×30. Once the pencil drawing was done, I laid in the gold leaf halo and then sealed the drawing with diluted acrylic medium. Next I went to straight color, starting in one section and finished that section before moving to the next. A sort of alla prima process over the course of a few weeks for each painting. In order to keep my paints workable for 3-4 days so I could revisit each section I added a little clove oil to each nugget of paint on the palette. It takes barely any to prolong the drying time for each color, but burnt umber takes a bit more clove oil. I printed off a large photograph of the models, courtesy of Walmart, and before laying down color on the canvas I would put my mixture on the tip of the palette knife and hold it up to the photo to color check. I would accentuate certain colors and change the model in various ways to fit my taste and in order to not be a slave to a photograph, but color checking to see if I was in the ballpark made these paintings go a lot quicker. This is the most direct method of painting I use.