Techniques

Anthony Brandt in his paint store room

Anthony Brandt in his paint store room

Within a few weeks of Brandt’s first attempt at painting with oils bought from his local art shop, Anthony Brandt was dissatisfied. The irritation however was not with his painting, but with the modern paint. He felt that even Rubens, whom Brandt admired for his exquisite brushwork, could not have coped with these 20th century branded oils. This led Brandt on an epic journey of research to unlock the secrets of 17th century Old Masters’ methods and paints.

Bronze - Anthony

Anthony Brandt working on a wax model for a sculpture

Brandt eventually discovered that he could make his own paints using the same ingredients as contemporary manufacturers. The main problem was the medium with which the paints were mixed – wax, pigments and linseed. Only by controlling a number of differently treated linseed oils and by adding very small quantities of various other additives such as Venice Turpentine, did he achieve the requisite quality of paint.

He also perfected the quality of non-running resins for the glaze, to produce the appropriate shadows and depth of luminosity, thus mixing and blending his paints to the highest standard. Likewise he found the usual practice of painting on canvas unsuited to his technique. He eventually settled for an aluminium support which he felt was durable and overcame the mechanical disadvantages of canvas such as stretching, contraction, tearing and rot.

 

Anthony Brandt video

In a rare interview found on a video cassette after his wife Mitzi’s death, artist Anthony Brandt talks about his 30 year quest to reproduce the oil paint formulation used by the 17th Century master painters.