Postaday2011: A short blog on oil painting.

I have managed to start the oil painting that I promised to do and it has been so long since I used oils that I had forgotten how messy it can be. Especially if you are me. My space is limited, light -dreadful and the picture I am working from doesn’t have enough detail to get it accurate but that doesn’t matter. As long as I have a basic idea I can work with it and make it look the way I want it to.

I chose a beach scene which I believed was taken on Ferring Beach in West Sussex, UK. If not I will find out and correct that statement. Here is the picture.

There is little detail showing so I shall have to practice a bit of artistic licence. This gives me an idea and it can be used to verify depth and distance as I go along. The very first thing I do is to prime my canvas if it isn’t already primed. For this I use a cheap white, matt emulsion. This helps the oil paint to bond to the canvas, often the primer on ready canvasses seem to have some repellant properties so it really does help.

I have to say at this point that I am not an expert artist, I am completely self taught using books and naked eye. There is probably a decent vocabulary to go along with what I am trying to describe but plain English will have to do.

This isn’t easy to see but the very first thing I do once the canvas is ready, is to sketch out lightly the picture I want to paint just to give me an idea of where I want to put the paint. Some people paint straight away but I prefer to have something to follow. No it isn’t paint by numbers.. hahaha.

Once the sketch is on I can start to paint. Once again, I do this the way I learned and no doubt if you went to art college they would tell you something completely different. I then paint the entire picture with a base coat. The colours aren’t important at this stage it just gives a rough guide to the shape of things to come.

As you can see once again, I have a good idea of where I want to go with this picture. I shall inevitably put in a lot more detail than the photograph contains but already it is possible to see a picture.

Oils take a long time to dry, I can’t remember how long exactly, so I shan’t do any more to this until I can paint on top of it without moving or blending the colours underneath about, this could be a couple of days or so. Therefore I shall continue my paint encounter once it is dried and give any would be artist out there a brush by brush account so that you can follow and have a go at painting yourself.

Acrylic is easier in one way because it dries in minutes but that is not always an advantage when, like me, perfection as near as possible is desired. If this is successful I will follow through an acrylic picture as well, mind you I might get tired of waiting for the oils to dry so could well start an acrylic one at the same time. Water colour, once again is totally different. Like I said, I am no expert, I just love to  draw and paint. I keep hoping I shall make some money from them one day… You never know…

4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Patti said,

    Thanks for posting this beginning of your painting – looks like the finished work will have some cool possibilities for the way the light plays off the water!

    • 2

      Thanks Patti, it’s sort of scary because I am never sure it is going to turn out right. I am thinking of doing an acrylic one as well, two reasons, one to see which one is easier, oils take so long to dry, and which looks better. That way I can blog the whole process day by day… Thank you for commenting, fingers crossed it will turn out goos enough to exhibit..

  2. 3

    Ellen said,

    I found you by accident and I think you are off to a great start with your painting. Keep at it the end result will be awesome.

    Best, Ellen

    • 4

      wordangell said,

      Thank you for popping by my blog, Ellen, I always have great ideas in my head but it’s getting them onto paper or canvas. Alway try anything though. I visited your web page and am going to pass it on to my daughter, she will love it, she is seriously into organic materials. M

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