Munnings’ Oil Study

I’ve been working on the ponies in oil.  They’re roughed in on the gessoed board. While I’ve been laying out the design I’ve looked at  Sir Alfred Munnings paintings and more specifically his oil studies.  These are intimate insights into the workings of a great master. And they show how he played with the forms and color.  Using a bright brush and probably Maroger (see below) as his medium, he lays the paint in and then cuts into it with a contrasting tone.  It gives his horses a gloss which transcends the scrutiny of a photograph. I love looking at them.

  • Just a note on the Maroger medium; Jacques Maroger (1884 – 1962) was a painter and technical director of the Louvre Museum’s laboratory in Paris, France.  He devoted his life to understand the oil-based media of the Old Masters. Lead Medium – attributed to Peter Paul Rubens -This medium was allegedly based on the black oil of Giorgione with an addition of mastic resin, Venice turpentine and beeswax. One or two parts litharge or lead white, combines by cooking with 20 parts raw linseed. A little more than one spoonful of “black oil” combined with even one spoonful of mastic varnish resulted in the “jelly” medium thought to be Megilp (another name of Maroger media).