Sunday, July 28, 2013

Two New Oil Paintings

A few days ago, I took the washed off canvas board from the last post and painted a much better painting on it with water mixable oils:

The Trek 5

Today I tried another, titled "There Used to Be Birds," to express my concerns about the deterioration of our environment and the loss of birds and other wildlife. What kind of empty, silent world are we leaving our grandchldren?

There Used to Be Birds

Not sure I like the green sea and may change it.

Notes on technique: I got some of the Winsor Newton Artisan brushes that were supposedly designed specifically for use with water mixable oils, and I have to admit that they work better than any of my other brushes. Today, between colors, I rinsed the paint off the brush in a bucket of water and then squeezed it dry with a paper towel. Used a lot fewer brushes that way, and the technique seemed to work fine.

Friday, July 12, 2013

More Experiments with Water Mixable Oils

Today I tried another thought I had -- what would happen if I put a layer of white water mixable oil paint down first and then mixed colors into it directly onto the paper? After all, white is the most commonly added color to oil paints, so I could save a lot of mixing. Well, not a good idea! There was no way to get a real dark (that one dark was done without the white layer) and no way to control the color I wanted. Still, it's fun to experiment, even if the results aren't that great. Here's the painting:

In addition to color problems, the two figures are too similar in shape and they are too similar in size, so the painting is not interesting. It was an experiment, so what the heck, I decided to scrape off the woman's head and start over:

Maybe I improved it a bit:

And to report the results of prior experiments -- the masking tape that I used to tape the oil paper to the board came off fine after the paint dried to the touch. Freezing the left over paint, as recommended by Bernard Fallon, worked just fine, too. After defrosting, the paint was like new. Some experiments work!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Second Oil Painting

My second experiment with water mixable oil paint is small (8 x 10) like the first one. I did not mix in any watercolor this time, just all oil. Between colors, I wiped the brush off with a paper towel (did not clean it in water) and found I needed a different brush for each color family. When I was done, I remembered that at a Huntington Beach Art League demo Bernard Fallon said to save partly used oil paint by putting it in the freezer, so I scraped up all the paint off the paper palette and put it in a plastic container in the freezer. We'll see if it stays usable. I taped the oil paper to a board, and this time I will let the paint dry to the touch before removing it. We'll see how that works.

The Trek 4
Clean-up was a snap: Throw away the scraped off paper palette and wash the brushes with soap and water! 

I was influenced by Milton Avery in this painting. The colors are more grayed than they show on my computer screen. It is based on my reddish-haired grandson Sam.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Painting with Grandchildren Again

One of my greatest pleasures is painting with my grandchildren. I cut up paintings I don't like so they can paint on the back (they paint fast and can really go through the paper!). I will sometimes take a piece of an old painting and paint on it just to disguise the fact that I am supervising. And sometimes I am rewarded with a small painting I kind of like, such as this one:

The Young Guitarist

Friday, July 5, 2013

Results of Experimenting with Water Mixable Oil Paints

The oil painting in my last post took 72 hours to dry to the touch, whereas others have found that the water mixable oils take 48 hours to dry to the touch. I live by the beach, where it is a bit humid, and perhaps that causes the difference in drying time. The parts of the painting that had watercolor paint mixed in with the oils dried faster. Those parts also had a matte finish, while the pure water mixable oil parts had a slightly glossy finish. If anyone minds these differences in finish, some water mixable varnish can create a consistent finish. There seemed to be no difference between the parts of the painting done with an oil-watercolor mix and pure water mixable oil in terms of adherence to the surface (which was Arches oil paper) and flexibility (I bent and rolled the paper). I conclude that it is indeed OK to mix watercolor paints with water mixable oil paints. Now the only remaining question is: Is my painting considered an oil or a mixed media work?