This means that my paintings do not come into being in one layer, but are built up in several layers. Each layer of paint has to dry up, before a new layer can be put on. Each layer remains visible under the next one. Dependant on the result desired this can mount up to 7 layers. These layers are very smooth and thin: brushstrokes are seldom visible, except for in a single detail like in the hairs.
I start with an outline of diluted Indian ink, on which I paint the bottom layer. This layer is monochrome in colour; that way I only need to focus my attention on the form. This layer remains faintly visible in the shaded parts in the end result. To many people it is strange to see, that the person portrayed initially has a green skin colour, even though he is painted already very detailed. I use green because it is the complementary colour of red and it provides a more natural colour in the shaded parts, than if I would mix it in one go.
The technique and material I use are dependant on the base: panel or canvas, also to be determined by the patron. With the paintings on my website, it is mentioned whether it is a panel or a canvas.
This can be wood, plywood or MDF, well prepared which I do myself. A panel is suitable for smaller sizes. The advantage is that I can work with a bottom layer of egg-tempera. This is a water-based paint: because this paint dries fast, I can work faster. On top of this go layers of oil paint, mixed with different mediums like resin varnish and finally linseed oil. The monochrome bottom layer, meant to reflect the forms and shadows, does not absorb the following layers, as a result of which the colours remain clear. A painting on a panel can be done more refined than on canvas.
Although there are several kinds of canvas to be used to paint on, I only use linen. I buy it ready-prepared and mostly I use the finest quality. For larger sizes I use a little more coarse linen, because it has to be stronger. Contrast to the smoothness of a panel, with linen you keep seeing the structure through the painting. Most people prefer this. On linen I cannot use the tempera. For the rest the way of working is about the same as on panel: several layers of oil paint are put on top of each other with increasingly greasier mediums.
For all my paintings I use the best materials. I work in a very conscientious way and I think the aspect of craftsmanship is very important. When I look at my oldest paintings, (I have been painting for 30 years now), I find them still in good condition. So I think I can say that technically I am a thorough painter.