Sunday, June 30, 2013

My First Oil Painting

Because it stays workable for quite a long time and it's easy to blur edges with it, I have been thinking about oil paint lately. I finally broke down and bought myself 10 sheets of Arches "huile" paper for oil paints and five tubes of Winsor & Newton Artisan water mixable oil paint, yellow, red, blue, white, and black. Since I use bristle brushes for watercolor, I had plenty of brushes appropriate for oil. Today I decided to experiment!

On a small (8 x 10) sheet of paper taped to a piece of plexi-glass, I quickly drew a picture similar to the one I did in my last post. I mixed some colors on a paper palette, and I also tried mixing some colors right on the huile paper as I painted. I remembered that with oil, you paint dark to light, the opposite of watercolor, but I ignored that rule. I experimented with various brush strokes and even finger applications of paint.

The really big experiment was combining watercolor paint with the oil paint. I searched the web for any information about doing this, but found almost nothing, other than the rather obvious advice of not painting watercolor on top of an oil painting. My guess was that if you can add water to these paints, then you could also add watercolor, if you mixed it in, instead of or with water. I had not bought any burnt umber Artisan paint, so I tried adding my burnt umber watercolor to the Artisan white. And since I had bought a warm red (cadmium hue), I could not make a proper violet, and so I mixed some mineral violet into the Artisan white, too. We'll see what happens as the painting dries. And here it is:

The Trek 2

Compare this one to the painting in the previous post. And p.s., I just read that bristle brushes don't do well with water mixable paint, because they get mushy when wet. I didn't notice that, but it was a small painting. Winsor & Newton recommends a special synthetic bristle brush that they make. Hmmmmmm.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Painting after Dark

In the past, I have avoided painting in the evenings, after dark, because of vision difficulties. No matter the amount of artificial light, the next day my paintings simply did not look like I had painted them -- the colors were always slightly off. But one can only watch so many re-runs or read so many books, so I decided to paint after dinner last night, thinking that maybe my new paint application method would work OK in artificial light. I was right! This morning, this painting looked just the way I had painted it:

The Trek

However, this photo of it does not show the colors accurately -- in reality it is somewhat more muted. There are problems with this painting anyway, and maybe I will try it again. For now, it's an homage to Nathan Oliveira.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Trying an Interior

Some artists like to paint the insides of homes or buildings, also known as interiors. Vincent Van Gogh famously painted his bedroom, and the first place winner at Watercolor West last year depicted a hallway with a view out a screen door. I have never painted an interior. 

As I was hanging out in my daughter's apartment last week while dog sitting, I noticed that the shapes of receding walls with different types of light on them would make an interesting painting, so I decided to make my own attempt at an interior. The resulting painting is also an homage to Richard Diebenkorn. Not sure I like it, but maybe it has potential for a do-over.

Secrets 4

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Finished a Painting Today

One graduation, one wedding, and one week of dog-sitting (so married couple could go on their honeymoon) are now done! (One more wedding to go.) Time to paint! Today I completed a painting I began at ISS, and here it is:

Secrets 3

I used the new paint application method I developed at ISS, and I lost a few more edges than usual. It feels good to apply what I learned and to like the results.