Flemish Painting Technique of Light and Colour – The RDA Technique
A Roger D. Arndt painting is a timeless work of art that marries the breathtaking subject matter of Canada’s West with fine craftsmanship and quality.
Roger is a smooth brush oil painter who utilizes a centuries-old Flemish technique that was once practiced by European Masters. His attention to detail is paramount; from the time he conceptualizes the image in his mind and prepares his boards, to the finishing and framing of the completed piece.
Arndt is an outdoorsman, and through this love of nature each painting begins with an adventure. No matter what is required to access the pristine beauty of the remote Canadian locations Arndt chooses for inspiration, he will do what is required. Whether travelling by horseback to an alpine ridge, hiking through dense forest, or paddling in by canoe, Arndt creates through hands on experience. Living and breathing each landscape, before creating studies to work from back in his studio.
The preparation of an Arndt oil painting is a laborious one, and often includes the building of three dimensional models and dioramas. No detail is left to chance, from beginning to end an Arndt creation means something finely crafted with care and attention. First, a cradled panel is primed with several coats of an archival sealer. Once dry and lightly sanded, gesso is hand applied in multiple thin coats. After completely dry, the panel is then hand-sanded to achieve a surface that is as smooth as glass. Roger moves on to create an image in conceptual drawings, conceived from his own photos, sketches, memory and imagination. Before starting the formal painting process, Roger prepares a scaled down, loosely painted oil study to test composition and colour elements. The striking luminescence that one sees in Roger’s work is achieved through a painstaking colour glazing technique. Using the finest hand-made sable brushes, Roger applies dozens of thinned-down, transparent layers of colour on top of each other, and lets each layer dry before moving onto the next.
When the image is completed, the effect is remarkable. The light travels through the layers and reflects off the surface of the white board beneath, creating a gentle, luminescent play of light and colour.
The layering technique is time consuming, so Roger often works on a dozen paintings at a time. He is also one of the few contemporary fine artists who paint large format representational works, as large as 48 inches by 72 inches. He typically paints a few large pieces a year, each taking eight months or so to complete.
Finishing and Framing
Roger devotes the same amount of detail and attention to the finishing and framing of his artworks as he does to the painting itself. The completed piece of work is hand coated with an archival varnish containing stabilizers and UV protection. High-quality mouldings and traditional frame materials are then hand-picked to compliment the work. To maintain integrity in finishing, all of Roger’s work is framed at his own framing shop on the family orchard in the Okanagan Valley. Roger is not only a master oil painter, but also a craftsman building his own premium wood crates for art shipping worldwide.