First Oil Study

Hi everyone, below is a first oil study I did of my son’s eye:
img_4007I’m happy with the way it turned out. As it happens, I started late at night and worked into the wee hours of the morning.

I think I started late because I was subconsciously putting it off. Still new to oil painting and overwhelmed by rules and information I’ve gathered so far, it’s still an uphill climb. Not only am I dealing with the paint properties but, I’m also trying to carve out a way of maintaining studio safety and environmental concerns when it comes to disposal of products. I am trying to use the least toxic products but it won’t be absolute. So far, the toxicity is in the odorless mineral spirits that I use (albeit, very minimal levels) and the paint colours themselves (cadmiums, cobalts, zinc etc..).

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m really getting to know the technical properties and process of oil painting. I started with this underpainting I did the day before:
img_4014In hindsight, I could have done the whole thing in one sitting but I was paranoid about the underpainting not being dry.

Here’s nother shot of it in my hand showing its relative size 4×4″:
img_4022The study took longer than I wanted. I had problems with the hairs on my brushes fraying at the ends when I did colour changes. Rinsing the brushes in the mineral spirits seemed exasperate the problem. It was frustrating trying to paint details with a brush that looked like an old broom at the end instead of a fine point. I also think that the realism of the study took time as well. I wonder if it would be faster if I did looser studies…

Here is a comparative shot, on the left is the photo and on the right is the study:
Left: Photo Reference                         Right: Eye StudyI do really like the blending qualities of oil paint. Although, it’s almost the opposite method of blending in acrylics, to me anyway. I don’t know about you but regardless of whether you like to paint in oils or not, there’s something about it. Maybe because it’s so traditional and we are forever marked by the indelible beauty that the Old Masters left behind.

Here’s hoping that practice will make perfect.