My Favourite Things

John Coltrane’s probably the greatest musician ever walked the face of the earth. His chord changes, musical single note phrases were not accidents but by design. He’s truly a genius. He’s a personal hero of mine when it comes to jazz playing and so I decided to make a painting of him as a tribute.

In this blog post I will discuss how I worked to finish this painting from beginning to end. Detailing the technique or methods I used to paint. Without further a do let’s begin!

The Materials

Since I wanted this painting to be a bit bigger than what I used to, I decided to paint on a 24″ x 36″ inches pre-primed stretched canvas.

For my palette I used the following oil colours:

Titanium White, Yellow Ochre Light, Light Red, Cadmium Red, Carmine, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue.

For my medium, I used the following:

Gamsol, Chroma Archival Odourless Lean and Fat Medium, Liquin Original, Talens glazing medium

Staining, Sketch, and Blocking In

I started with the staining of canvas by mixing ultramine blue and burnt umber with gamsol as my medium. The stain was applied thinly. I also used the stain to plot some points and masses where the figure will be drawn. In this stage also, with a broad paint brushes, I sketched the head using Andrew Loomis’ method and started blocking in the major shapes and values. My colours were muted, my highlights were far from white and my shadows were far from black. This under painting layer will be the foundation for all the succeededing layers. I let this layer dry for a week even though it was dry to the touch in 24 hours, because I only paint weekly.

First Painting/Modelling Stage


Second Painting/Detailing Stage