I thought I would post pictures of a little oil painting I have been working on.
I mentioned in my last post that I was trying to find a way of starting an oil painting that suits me and I feel comfortable with, well this is it, for the time being anyway! I have come to understand with oils that there are various ways of starting a painting which should change slightly to be the most suitable for the subject matter or indeed conditions in which you are working. This next sequence of pictures shows the style I have chosen for doing my little wildlife paintings, hopefully I will explain why!
I've continued with an imprimatura layer to establish my values but did add an oil gesso layer on the canvas board before I started. I was finding the acrylic gessoed cotton canvas to be too absorbant and was getting pretty sick of my colours sinking in, the extra layer seems to have helped though. Of course, oil gessoed linen panels are probably the way to go but unfortunately living in the UK not only do we have very limited choice but they are hugely expensive, I wish we had the choice given in the USA!
As you can see from the above picture I have started filling in the big shapes of the wolf, taking care to get my temperatures right as my reference picture of the Wolf is a very different temperature to the one I am painting.
The next stage is to work in the background, again being very careful to get my values and temperatures right. I'm trying to vary my edges to suggest distance and to add interest and I'm not trying to paint every little detail as I'm thinking more about the design of the composition. I'm also varying the thickness of the paint to give a suggestion of texture and depth.
This stage is where I am at the moment. Again I have left the fore-ground quite loose as I want the viewers eye to be drawn to the wolf and the simple design. Unfortunately even with all my prep work the paint has sunk in but I know this will be the case on this board but at least it isn't quite as bad as before. I need one final bit to finish the painting however which is to 'oil out' to bring back the colour before just finishing off with a few accents here and there.
This is a technique which I now feel quite happy to continue with and hopefully I will be able to acquire some reasonably priced linen boards to work on to solve the dreaded sinking in!