Thomas Saliot

New York Girl’s Cigarette and Phone




Hi Anne and Maeve and welcome to the first of our tutorials following up from our most recent Zoom Class.

This will be a step by step approach each week .

If you have anything you want advise on or a few extra tips, you can phone me any day at 085 233 7413 between 10am and 8pm


I would suggest a 50×40 cm canvas for this painting which would be a 5 to 4 divide. (you may also use a 40×30 cm canvas but then you must use a 4 to 3 divide)

Divide your 50×40 cm canvas into the areas shown above and then follow up with the same process on your picture below.

In this Thomas Saliot Painting I have decided to sub divide these areas here where I think potential difficulties may arise

You can do this in other parts if you wish but don’t put them in all at once as it could get very confusing.

Dividing your 50cm x 40cm canvas into a 5:4 Ratio (each area =10cm)

Divide your photograph in to 5 to 4 areas (see below) and then follow up with suggested sub divisions

Remember, whatever you do on your canvas, you must also do with your picture


Dividing your picture as you did with your canvas

Look at your picture and see what the most challenging areas are. In this case I have selected these areas I am pointing to (see above). What I would suggest you do to make things easier would be to ‘sub-divide these areas like I have done in the illustration above this one. It will help you with the most difficult parts of the drawing.

Please remember what I said earlier….whatever you do on the picture you must also repeat on the canvas.

This painting is one mainly comprising of stark and soft shapes and what you will notice is that the dominant ones are the dark and greys .

My suggestion would be to concentrate on the darks first and build the other less dominant ones around these as I have started to do below.

Picking out the Darks with Pencil
Picking out the Outline with Pencil


After you have completed your drawing with pencil you should then proceed with a process what’s known as ‘inking’

Inking your drawing helps you to see the painting more clearly, stops your pencil line from influencing your colours and takes the intimidating look of a freshly sketched canvas and somehow appearing to make your task ahead a lot easier

To make up the ink you should pour a few drops of white spirits into a jam jar lid and put a little Burnt Sienna paint into your lid mixing them together until you transform your paint into a flexible ink like mixture, not too strong or not too weak, just enough to allow your smallest paintbrush to glide over your pencil lines.

Making the ink
Filling in the main lines only

We will continue with our drawing and once finished you can ink the important main outlines see above.

Do not worry about sketching the area up on the top right. these will be painted as we go along as they are generally just different shapes.

We will start painting in this area, the area behind the figure of the man and then the street.

Starting painting the distance before coming forward

This is the start of this painting. The colours I’ve used are Raw Umber , Raw Umber with French Ultramarine Blue, Several different shades of greys starting with the main mix which is Raw Umber, French Ultramarine Blue and white. This leaves you with a nice blueish grey.

Obviously the further away you go the more white is added to your grey.

The colours on the street are French Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Coeurileum Blue with touches of Purple and Raw umbers near the kerbs. More Coeurileum Blue is added to the pavement getting brighter as you go further away.

When doing the windows in particular use a flat topped sable brush.

I haven’t perfected my street markings yet. There are some slight alterations required such as brightening and altering the angles a little here and there. This can be done at a later stage.

All backgrounds painted in. Touch up detail later

I have just roughly painted all the background and will leave it for now to concentrate on the woman. There will be touch ups here and there to be looked at near the end of the painting

Base coats first

Remember whatever area you are working on please paint in a light base coat first (see example above)

This will help you control your tones.

In the example above, I selected a Coeurilium Blue base coat as this was the lightest colour in this area and this was followed by the remaining colours been painted on top of the wet base. Colours such as French Ultramarine Blue and Raw Umber and French Ultramarine Blue and Paynes Grey and some Burnt Sienna touches dispersed here and there.

Use a flat sable haired brush for the placement and a round haired sable brush for toning.

We will be concentrating on the skin tones and facial detail at our next atages

Placing the Colours on Arm and Hand Before Toning.


The next stage involves selecting the olours needed for the arms and hands. Here we need a series of oranges with Burnt Siennas and cadmium reds added in at certain points as well as extra white re highlights etc.

A base coat of Orange (Cadmium Red / Cadmium Yellow) should be mixed with White and applied sparingly.

No need to go into too much detail just yet. Just concentrate on the base coat the follow up colours, where to put them and think about toning them after that. You will see above that my colours are placed but not yet fully toned.

The outline of the arm should be a soft outline and not be a sharp one. The reason for this is that the arm is rounded and therefore ends gradually (as if you were painting an apple or an orange for example) I will explain this by showing you with the illustration below, how to soften a line

Softening this line

To do this you will need to have the colours on the arm wet as well as the background colours wet which in this case is the man’s trousers

Get a small round head sable brush and tap it gently and directly on the outline until you slightly distort the sharp outline. It should barely make a difference but still be noticeable.

The outline with the arrow has been softened, the outline opposite outline has yet to be..