Caravaggio’s Shadows

Posted on July 18, 2017

When I first started using Caravaggio’s painting technique, one thing that was difficult was making the shadows dark enough; beginners are inclined to lay down less paint on a white canvas because the contrast seems too stark, but it’s the subtleties in the shadows that bring the work to life. For this guy’s shirt I painted the canvas with burnt umber and then took a brush dipped in mineral spirits to take paint away, rather than add it.


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