I'm working on some lustre paintings at the moment, and I'm stuck in the mid planning stage, I thought I'd write a bit about my lustre painting...something might spring to mind or inspire my next step in my planning 😉 So, why do I create layers with lustre painting?

Lustre painting, Ingrid Lee

My approach to painting with lustres is the same approach I learned when painting with oils and ink or watercolours.  When I teach painting in any medium, whether it's abstract expressionism on canvas or porcelain or really any style, I always go back to using under paintings, either grisalle or verdaccio...or my own adaptations of under painting which seem to work well for lustre painting in particular and abstract expressionism on canvas.  The use of layers with lustres is to build up quality of colour, movement which will result in a feeling or expression.  I love to play with intensities of colour burning or swimming through another, I've written about this before here.  Most of my lustre paintings are completed in 5 or 6 firings, however there are some that have taken up to 10-12 firings, it all depends on the size of the painting and style...and whether the layers are right!

Experimenting with under painting colours is a really useful exercise. You can see some other examples of my under painting stages here, here and here.

Below you can see one lustre painting from a while ago, still unfinished- a couple embraced (click here to see how this painting started), and a Roman soldier on the round plate.  I'm looking at using many of the layering techniques and effects from the oval plate, for the Roman soldier plate.

Lustre painting, Ingrid Lee

Below you can see examples of lustre work, built up over around 5 layers to create depth, feeling and movement, as each stroke captures the light.  I have tried to take the one image with two different reflections of light on the art work, so you can see...obviously in person it is more engaging, but I think you get the idea.

Lustre painting, Ingrid LeeLustre painting, Ingrid Lee

In the fabric of the dress I have played with elements of quality of line to suggest feel of the fabric, texture etc.

Lustre painting, Ingrid Lee

Here you can see light reflecting on the right image, there is a contrast of reflections, showing you how the colours change and move with the flow of the individual lines.

I keep very detailed notes in my journal about techniques and effects I create...they aren't random, I do have test fire plates which are like little sketches I would use for canvas painting.  So I will start to plan the mid layers of painting for my Roman plate, which is still part of the Destiny and Love series, it links with the vase We are Soldiers of Love.   I also want to add some metallic powder and paste work to this plate too.  I want a very heavy feel to the work, as it will reflect the meaning I wish to express, hence the use of paste, lots of lustre details and pen work to create density and heaviness.   The same type of constraint one feels from this type of image, photographed by Valentino Visentini.


Photo courtesy Density by Valentino Visentini at Fine Art America


How do you approach using lustres?  Share some of your ideas in the comments 🙂

What do you think about layering lustre work?

Are you interested in learning more about lustre painting? Click here

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  1. January 11, 2014 -

    I sent a link to your site to my Fresno Porcelain Artists with your Facebook comment - Why do I create layers with lustre painting? I'll sent it on to the California artists that I have email addresses in my outlook book.

    • January 12, 2014 -

      Hi Betty, thanks for sharing my links and site....at the moment I'm getting my online art school finally set up...should be ready in a month, I'll let you know when it's all ready and done! Thanks again for you support

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