We invite you to a special viewing of Gottlieb in the studio. Here you can see his preferred lighting environment, take a close look at his brushes and palette and get a sense of his working method by seeing it in various stages of progression on the easel. Gottlieb takes great pride and commitment in his work, each stage is carefully crafted to perfection before moving on the next.
Gottlieb’s studio is a contemplative environment where dark shadows do actually exist along with a natural sunlight that is let in from a single bay of high north windows. He likes to set up his painting area to closely resemble his vision for the final painting so that there may be much to learn from the actual realms of atmosphere, space and light. The studio is dark with walls of a deep warm grey so that his subject may shine brighter than any other source. Among the many brushes that you see here, Gottlieb favors natural bristle, mongoose and sable for his work.
Gottlieb has a basic palette of colors which he uses for his work. He may throw in 1 or 2 extra colors occasionally, and through the years some of his preferences have evolved but the foundational palette remains the same. His workshops include detailed instruction and practice with his palette colors if you want to learn more. Here you can see a range of warm and cool tones which he will use to paint a particular passage.
Often, Gottlieb will sketch his ideas and composition first on paper. Here we see an early sketch of only 6 x 8 inches that served as an idea for the later painting “Into My Own”, in which a woman holding a lantern illuminates the darkness. This particular sketch was not selected for the final version as Gottlieb favored a forward facing view instead.
Sometimes, Gottlieb will take the intital sketch and create a half or full size charcoal drawing that explores the entire value range for the planned painting. This drawing is the final charcoal version of Lucretia. This drawing was purchased immediately after completion by a close friend and patron of Gottliebs.
After finishing the preparatory drawings but before starting on a full size painting, Gottlieb will create a miniature size painting that serves as a color study for the final piece. Important decisions are made that determine the overall impact that the full size painting should achieve. Gottlieb uses this color study to influence and inform his later painting decisions. Often these color studies are also snapped up by interested collectors.
Gottlieb prefers to work on a warm medium toned ground so that he may start out with some rich color and depth immediately in his painting. He applies this tone which is called an “imprimatura” before he starts to paint.
Initial drawing in paint:
Another preparatory stage before the actual painting is the intital drawing on the canvas. Once Gottlieb has realized his final composition on paper, he transfers the drawing onto his canvas using a traditional method by hand. Once the basic marks are transferred, Gottlieb refines the drawing using a paint brush with a thin mixture of paint.
The Piambura is a technique created by Gottlieb that was originally used to compliment his Verdaccio Technique. The Verdaccio Technique is an indirect painting method where a limited range of green and red tints are painted to create a finished first layer that is subsequently glazed in full color. The Piambura was created as this underpainting and evolved to a secondary underpainting for further brilliance in the lights. Later, the Piambura became a fully finished painting in itself as it’s beauty and elegance is obvious.
Actual painting in progress:
Featured here are a number of Gottlieb’s paintings in progress. We have reserved these for you to view as they are not shown in the main gallery of Gottlieb’s works. You will also find a selection of Gottliebs works in progress included with the final painting in the Main Gallery.
Old Master Studies:
Gottlieb encourages his students to paint Old Master copies and often does so himself. He has gone to one such Master in particular on numerous occasions in order to absorb his approach to the portrait features. These examples are studies that Gottlieb executed when he was trying to solve the problem of an eye he was painting. Perhaps you can guess which works these studies were taken from?