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Portraits of Birds of the World
 
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Loon Family: Minnesota
My painting techniques are very straight forward in all media....time proven traditional methods as I was taught by my mentors. I always make many charcol or pencil studies of my subject. I use specimens when available or study skins from museums as models. Sometimes I make small clay models to study the light on the subject. I make a small final study and then transfer it to the painting ground. I then lightly''fix'' it with an appropriate fixative....in this situation I used Damar Retouch Varnish over the drawing on double primed portrait linen. I often find that I will add or subtract from this drawing as the painting proceeds....as my idea becomes more clear. Painting for me is about composing and creating.... I am never challenged by copying photos in making art. It is my interpretation of nature as I have seen it and experienced it directly that excites and inspires me to make a painting.

Loon Family: Minnesota
I spray the painting surface with a light coat of slow drying painting medum with a mouth atomizer to make the paint flow eazily. I keep my palette of colors simple, using pure colors in the underlayers and mixing my blacks to create warm and cool darks. I am always mindful of the light direction and shadows as I proceed laying in color. Often in the underlayers I will paint in complementary colors opposite to what the final color will be, ie., red for green; yellow for violet;orange for blue; and visa versa. It seems to make color vibrate as in nature...to my eye. I paint in the day hours and draw in the evening.

Loon Family: Minnesota
Here I added a second young bird as I continue to darken the painting with color.

Loon Family: Minnesota
I let the previous days work dry fully to the touch of my hand. Then, I again spray the whole surface with slow drying painting medium and proceed to lay in more color.

Loon Family: Minnesota
Now I am working toward the final step and softening, deepening,and adjusting the raw colors,previously layed down,with layers of muted complimentary colors . I let each sessions' work dry completely to the touch of the hand and lightly spraying medium when begining again. I follow the rule of ''lean to fat'', adjusting the mediums' fat-ness as the painting moves toward completion. This is very important to prevent the painting from future cracking and crackling throughout the life of the painting. It also makes the painting opalesent and have a very soft overall patina.

Loon Family: Minnesota
The Completed Painting- 60''X 58''inches, Oil on Linen. I let the completed work dry fully for 2 weeks before adding a very light coat of protective varnish containing a small amount of alkyd resin. After 3 or 4 months I will varnish the picture with a good quality picture varnish. I like a satin finish; one which contains alkyd resin and art wax. I usually have 'varnishing days' which are warm, clear and still, covering many paintings at the same time. I cover the back of the painting with foamcore which has 2 or more small (4''X 4'')air holes covered with plastic gauze to keep out insects and spiders.

 
 
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Jon Janosik
c/o  Jon Janosik Fine Art
2738 A Street
Hubbard, Oregon
USA 97032
Tel: 503-981-8903
  Worldwide Nature Artists Group
Email: JonJanosik@wavecable.com
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Member of the Artists for Conservation Foundation www.natureartists.com.