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  • Process
  • Laura Shallcrass


Today I thought I'd share a little about what goes into one of my oil paintings. Starting at the beginning.

Although I'm a trained illustrator I have never really studied traditional painting methods so the way I paint is all a bit of a mish mash of trial and error and things I've picked up form other artists. I don't feel like it's right or wrong, it's just the way I do it, this is definitely not a How To! 

For these crystal paintings I buy the crystals, photograph them myself and use both the photographs and the crystal itself as reference. I used to use found images but somehow it seems to loose some of the magic. Please ignore my ghetto props!

After photographing I'll print the image and start on the canvas perparation. I did a stint at an art supplies store a while back which left me with a penchant for high end equipment (argh!) so I use Schmincke Primer, 3 coats. With this painting I wanted a gradient background so this has 3 coats of oils fading from blue to black (Schmincke Norma Oil Colour here), it's probably pretty tough to see in a photograph because of the way the light hits the canvas but anyhoo. 

Next I draw the crystal by hand on paper and transfer that to the canvas. Then I do a very rough undercoat so that I know where all the important bits go..

After that it's a more detailed undercoat in colour... 

Then the real work starts. I lay the colour down with a heavy bristled brush...

And blend with a sable

Up until this point I've been using what I call in my head the middle colour. Not the lightest, not the darkest. I know you're supposed to paint dark to light with oils but this way works for me and I'm sticking with it.

After that is all in and blended I have a very general idea of what the painting is going to look like and I can make changes if I need to. Next is the detail. Here I do use the dark to light rule starting with the darkest bits, blending them into the colour and then last of all I add the highlights. That's when I feel like a painting really comes alive and I know for sure if it's going to work or not. So there you go:

Titanium Aura Quartz


  • Laura Shallcrass

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