Sheep Oil Study

Hi everyone, below is a finished study of a sheep 4×4″:

Sheep oil studyAs you know, I’ve been trying to get comfortable with oil painting. So I decided that I will do a variety of small studies. I think it’s a first for me to do farm animals, there’s something simple and wholesome about farm animals.

I started off with this underpainting:
Sheep oil underpaintingI might change my method of doing things later. I still haven’t found a streamlined way of working on multiple pieces at once and not worry about layers. For example, if I have 6 paintings going at once and I work on a couple of them in one day and others on another day, some are bound to be dry and have different number of layers. That in itself is not a problem, but as I have to add more fat in each layer of a painting, I will not be able to remember how much fat was added or which layer it is (number) in a given painting.

I might implement a drying rack system to help with the problem of sorting out which stage a painting is in. I already hacked/built a drying rack to store my paintings. Maybe as I paint, can I store them different slots that identify different layers. Them, I use mediums that I formulated with different ratios of fat to correspond with the layers. We’ll see I guess.

Anyhoo, I have found that realistic representational paintings take a lot of time and sometimes tedious when working on them. And since I don’t want to deal with layers, I try to finish them in one sitting. Maybe when I get more used to them, I won’t worry too much about technical issues about the material. But they are rewarding when they are finished:
Sheep oil study closeup Above is a closer look at my sheep. It’s refreshing to paint different subject matter sometimes. It goes to show you, you should always try something new.

Wishing you a productive week.

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.

Traditional painting in “Experiments” series

Hi everyone, below is a study in the “Experiments” series:
I decided to use the traditional painting method of glazing with acrylic paint. The study features a basic sphere rendered by building-up transparent layers. I wanted to see what it would look like with a treatment of modern acrylic medium on top of it.

Here is a detail of the tonal values rendered on the sphere using the glazing technique. The good thing about glazing with acrylics is how fast it dries. You can get many thin layers down in a day. Whereas, in traditional oil painting, you’re lucky if you can get one layer done:

I really like the rough texture of the burnt umber:

I like the way the rough texture wraps around the sides of the painting. It makes the image more congruous as a whole:

Here is another detail:

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re enjoying the fall weather and it’s colours.