Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Oil sketches

I have been playing around with some small oil sketches in various differing styles to start to achieve the results I want. Newer readers of my blog will understand that I am switching from using Acrylic to oil paint, something that I have been working on for a couple of years now and trying to find a style that I really like.

I find that the only way to become comfortable with any medium is to really start to get the feel of the paint, and the only way to do that is to actually paint, the studying time is over for now!

From my last post I mentioned that I am using a Transparent Oxide Brown under-painting and working out my values, well, that has stayed the same but I have changed the ground colour to using a combination of Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine wash, this allows me to warm or cool the ground as needed.
My medium has changed though as I was using Winsor & Newton painting medium on it's own, this I found to be too glossy, I have therefore made little combinations of 1:7 ratio painting medium to Sansador for my early layers up to 1:3 for later layers which seems to be working better.
This is pretty much what my early layers are like:

I use my bristle brushes for this stage as I like the interesting edges but also some parts of the under-painting are washes where I will use a softer brush. I like having the under-painting layer as it forces me to limit my values and I can see the design of my painting more clearly.

I have also been trying various 'next stages' to see their effects! I decided to do some little waterfall pictures, this is the under-painting of one where I am just working on the values and shape

I then decided to colour it in with translucent paint to give me a colour map, an ebauche I suppose, by the way, these are only on 9x7 inch canvas boards.

I let this dry before I then started to work in the third and final layer using both translucent and opaque paint. The advantage of this is that I can leave some of the second layer showing through the final layer which I quite like. Because I started working on to dry paint I carried on with my bristle brushes which gave the final effect a kind of pastel feel to it.

I'm afraid I struggled a little taking a photograph of this as I don't think my camera liked the canvas board, the final painting isn't quite as fuzzy as this!

I don't think this is the final effect I am trying to find but I wanted to try and it does give you an idea of just how many differing ways of working with oils there are and I want to find a way that suits me. I have already tried another couple of final layer ideas but will leave them until my next post!