Painting for September 11

Face Study no.6 – acrylic and water-soluble oil on panel, 6″ x 8″


You read that right, folks -“acrylic AND water-soluble oils”.  Now, I wouldn’t normally do this, but according to the information pamphlet that came with our set of Holbein Duo Aqua Oils, mixing these paints with acrylics is perfectly fine.  They blended together on the palette just fine, and adhered to the panel just fine, too.  So far, everything is FINE.

But if this painting eventually ends up flaking and sliding right off the canvas, I promise you: the good people at Holbein can look forward to some scathing hate mail from yours truly.  I shall keep you informed.

Just kidding!  I actually really, really wanted to experiment, especially after my disappointment with using oils for September 10th.  I was really keen to find out if adding some water-soluble oils to acrylic would help with extending the “open” time, and thus allow me to get that coveted “wet-in-wet” look that always seems just beyond my grasp… and not give me an “oil paint smell” headache while I’m doing it.

Unfortunately, given the time and opportunity, I just went right back to my detail-oriented, dry brush, nit-picky ways.  So my results are, uh… inconclusive.

What I like about this painting:

  • all those shifting colours in her fleshtones
  • all the “unfinished” bits – her hair, her fuzzy sweater

What I like less:

  • the “lineart”, which for some reason I just keep adding even though it doesn’t often work

What I learned from this painting:

  • I concentrate SO HARD on the eye that’s in the light, and tend to fudge and slur my way through the eye that’s in shadow.  This is becoming a habit.
  • re: mixing water-soluble oils with acrylics – I thought it best not to use linseed oil, so I used only a little water to help extend the paint.  As it dried (and if it was scraped thinly enough across my palette, it most certainly did), as some reviewers have pointed out, it would also become a little sticky
  • speaking of my palette, I have yet to clean it.  I think this is where the [water-soluble oils/acrylics mix] is going to hit the fan, if you catch my meaning.


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