VIDEO:PAINTING: Painting, Rendering, Rambling and some Grapes. (2.5 hours)

Here is a few hours of me rambling about painting and rendering while engaged from a small study I did a little while back. I’m hoping that you’ll find it informative!


Fantastic, I forsee a lot of grapes in my immediate future! :joy: Thank you very much for sharing this.

When you first got stuck into painting - did you try out a million different approaches and techniques which evolved into your current process or has this always been the way you’ve approached your paintings?

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I absolutely tried a large array of approaches. And yes, my current process is a product of much evolution.

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I managed to watch the whole thing bit by bit now and it vastly improved my work day. Superb stuff, got a few questions!

Were you working with “live” grapes or the photo you embedded?

If you were doing something with more texture like bone, velvet or something dimpled or pitted, would you be working in the same manner but utilising more stylus and sandpaper? - seeing you break those out to highlight that evil grape at the front was quite a revelation.

If you’d been spending longer on this and taking it to your usual level of finish, you mentioned you would potentially do a second pass - would you just be overlaying with more precision and refinement, or are you employing any extras in subsequent layers - doing any glazes/scumbles for special effects for example. And what might that “unifying” glaze involve which you mention at the end?

I learned a good deal about how to treat edges from seeing your approach in this video, and tactically overshooting on a colour because you know you’re going to hit it with white or whatever hue later, brilliant stuff.

I’d recommend to anyone watching this to do so on as large a screen as possible to see all the detail that’s being taken into account from the reference as clearly and closely as possible. And then remind yourself how small grapes are afterwards.

Can’t believe you pull off stuff a bazillion times smaller than this too. You rule!

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Fantastic Anthony !! Thanks so much for making this video…it is a great opportunity to watch you work even if virtually :slight_smile: Simply amazing stuff :slight_smile:

So interesting to see the ‘bumping in chroma’ in action here as it really works. I loved the process and I have a couple of questions:

  1. Are you using any kind of medium here or just oil paints?

  2. I have a bit of a problem when it comes to planning or having a strategy for my work. For example, if you take the background that you have around the two grapes at the back, do you plan to blend in the rest of the background while it is still wet? Sometimes I get back to an area in a painting when it is completely dry and then have issues with edges as the blending is not seamless. How do you suggest that we go about it? Do you plan in advance which areas to work on in a day and do you do so with the intention to have the paint still wet when you return back to it the next day?

Thanks so much for your help :slight_smile: And thanks again for taking the time to work on this video. It is very much appreciated!!

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Can’t thank you enough for recording that demo @AWaichulis! I followed along tonight and amazed myself at how decent this looks, I seemed to fight with tacky paint a lot of the time (think this was due to them being alkyds and being spread so thin they were drying extra quick) so will have to try with regular oil paint, and I definitely need to sand my gesso smoother, but I’m still super impressed I managed to paint a realistic grape with the soul of a murderer trapped inside it :joy:


Duuuuuude! Lol! Seriously-I’m blown away. You did an amazing job with this. Very psyched for you. However, now you’ve upped the bar of expectation so…



There’s on thing I’m very confused about. Here at about 43:30, you mention that your paintings take maybe 100s of hours. I remember you saying something similar in an email to me.

However, in the LOP DVD’s we see you paint the piece Discovery. Admittedly this is a bit smaller than your usual works. However, you seem to paint this in about half an hour or so if I recall. Now, it might have been a bit more than that; and for all I know the camera was operating at 2x speed. All that said, it seemed like an incredibly quick session.

In fact I had come to believe that the quickness might be a product of your hyper-trained skills; that being quick was a sign of the master, in that you instinctively knew exactly where to place all the marks on the canvas. I though also that maybe you did many warm ups for a piece and then finally this allowed you to do the real thing in next to no time. So I’m confused.

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Sorry, but if you’re really going to imitate Anthony you have to provide a 2 and a half hour long video as well. I’m very disappointed in you. :frowning_face:

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1:43 ‘I’m not really a grape person.’

2:32: ‘Come into my office and watch me paint. It’s staggeringly boring.’

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Quotes that I hope will become part of my legacy. :laughing:

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Hey Thomas! That session (on the LoP) was edited waaaaaay down. (You might remember that there were many cuts that faded into each other.) I wish I was fast enough to paint something that detailed in a half-hour or so.

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I think the historians will have a field day! The ambiguity of the grape statement will be argued over by scholars for centuries. It has the potential to be an egg cracked at the top, versus egg cracked at the bottom conflict. Personally I tend to think you meant, ‘I don’t understand the biology of grapes, therefore I can’t explain the cloudy white texture on the surface’. Rather than, ‘I don’t like grapes’, something which is contradicted by the fact you often paint them :slight_smile:

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I genuinely had never realised that. What I will say is that in that LOD clip I had the sense of a master painter who was doing things normal painters couldn’t. Whereas in this grape clip, I found I could very much relate to your process.

Anyway thanks for posting I find all these videos very useful.

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Haha, I’m afraid my video would run at about 2 and a half hours per grape - you’re best sticking with the original!

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By the way, I noticed you had a prepared board to paint on. Just out of interest, have you had any luck getting Masonite in the UK? I eventually managed to get a board but even then it was not as thick as recommended.

We don’t really used the name Masonite in the UK as I’m sure you know, which is part of the problem. I have tried using MDF board, but it’s not really that great.

Anyway, don’t worry if you haven’t faced any of these issues yet, I just thought that since you’re also in the UK you might have done.

Personally I’m going to try painting on Aluminium.

You can get 4ft x 8ft MDF from Wickes/B&Q for around £5! Here’s one in progress with part of my tiny son in for scale :slight_smile:

It comes in different thicknesses too, I went for 6mm which means the stuff isn’t massively heavy but rigid enough for the sizes I wanted to cut from it. A small portion of which I did the grapes on. Then it’s just a case of priming, cutting and sanding. My main issue is the time it takes to sand the gesso smooth enough, and having to use a couple of layers gesso (and gesso on the back for moisture rejection) combined with drying time makes this into a bit of a chore, although you do get a lot for your money, and you can cut any measurements/shapes you like.

But after getting a bit sick of how time consuming this is I’ve found the following which look like excellent contenders:-

A small part of my finished ‘home-brew’ board underneath, Jackson’s Art own brand cradled gesso panel 9x12" and an uncradled ampersand gesso panel from the same website of the same dimensions. These are both about £5 each too! But come with an extremely smooth finish, ideal for painting on straight out of the pack.

I’ve never painted on aluminium and i imagine it’s a bit more expensive too, it’s obviously a very resilient material, though I’d be slightly concerned about the non-porous nature of it and it would definitely need to not be too smooth a surface - I remember hearing a story somewhere about Cesar Santos:- he’d got a painting from David Kassan (who paints on some seriously smooth material - mirrors even sometimes!) and I think it was in the back seat of a car in direct sunlight and the paint layer slipped completely off the panel and had to be carefully stuck back on, now that definitely wouldn’t happen with wood/canvas.

Would love to hear what you make of the aluminium if/when you give it a shot!


Ouch! I’d never heard that about aluminium before. That’s terrifying. I’ll have to look into that issue.

I have painted a lot on Ampersand. They are good, but I feel they are too smooth, so that ultimately you do end up with a bit of a problem whereby in later layers the paint seems to be less absorbed as you might want and coagulation on the surface develops. You will know of course that Anthony recommends working on a slightly rough panel.

I also have used the MDF boards from B&Q. By the way, I am always lucky enough to get mine cut on site, which saves a bit of time. Where I get it from you can just ask a man to cut it down to size for you.

However, I’ve had multiple problems when it comes to gesso. Problems of getting a smooth surface, problems of developing holes in the gesso. All of which is on top of the fact that MDF just feels like a poor man’s Masonite.

Anyway I’ll keep you informed once I’ve had a go with the Aluminium.


While there are a good number of them but I would say especially:

Robert Lemler (
Randall Sexton (
Mark Tennant (
Felicia Forte (
Richard Schmid (
Qiang Huang (
Carol Marine (

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