Painting for September 19

Face study no.11 – acrylic on panel, 6″ x 8″

I swear to you that I set out to produce something fast, loosey-goosey, and sketchy… and I crumbled and started smoothing things out again (which was actually pretty difficult to do over all that paint).

I also realized that I’m STARVING for colour, so… Barbie Pink backgrounds for everyone!

May have to re-work this piece.  It looks fine large, but as a thumbnail, well, I find that the errors are more apparent.



Painting for September 15

Face Study no.9 – acrylic on panel, 6″ x 8″

Aaaannd we’re back!  After a brief dalliance with oils, I went back to acrylics, and man, did I ever miss their optimistic and plastic-y aroma!

And I got all wound up in doing the details of her face and now I’m too tired to do the rest of the painting.  G’night, folks!


Painting for September 14

Face Study no.8 – oil on panel, 6″ x 8″

I think I’ve come to the end of my very brief love affair with oil paints.  I feel like we were pressured into dating by well-meaning mutual friends, had an astonishingly great second date, and then the whole thing just fell apart soon afterwards and we realized we were better off as friends (I think you still owe me money, though).  I wonder if acrylics will take me back…

In all seriousness, it’s not as if I don’t like this painting (poor photography aside – fresh oils are a bitch to photograph).  It’s just… lacking in oomph.  And maybe it’s a little overcooked.


Painting for September 12

Face Study no.7
Face Study no.7 – oil on panel, 6″ x 8″

I must be a sucker for punishment because I opted to try another oil painting tonight.  Overall, the results are much better, and unlike the last one (which I pretty much SOAKED in linseed oil – because what do I know about oil painting, right?), this painting might actually dry sometime this century!

What chuffs me about this painting:

  • it kinda reminds me of a mid-century pin-up

What bums me about this painting:

  • the hair is a little too unfinished, but maybe I should’ve thought of that before I chose to copy a picture of a woman with wild hair, and so much of it!

List some teachable moments:

  • don’t expect oil colour and acrylic colour to behave the same way!  Maybe it’s just the brand I use, but I really hate their cadmium red (to be fair, it is a cadmium red hue).  It’s a fluffy, candy red that I find very difficult to control.
  • still trying to figure out how to make a brilliant white highlight with oils.  If anyone has any tips, please share!!

Anything else to share with the class?

  • I listened to a collection of Stars tracks on CBC Radio 3 while I painted this.  Just FYI.


Painting for September 10

Face Study no.5
Face Study no.5 – oil on panel, 6″ x 8″

Face Study no.5 – oil on panel, 6″ x 8″

We have a set of Holbein Duo Water-Soluble Oils that have been sitting around since, oh, forever.  I decided to give them a go even though I have practically ZERO experience with oil paints.  You can see where this is going…

I should ‘fess up right now that today is my husband’s birthday, and at this moment, I am full of roast beef, wine, sweet potato, wine, chocolate cake, and wine.  Also, wine.  Talk about the WORST time to close yourself up in a small room and fiddle with art supplies that give off headache-inducing fumes.   But, oh… I SO wanted to get that fat, buttery, wet-in-wet oil paint look.

And I kinda, sorta, in some way succeeded… I think.. maybe?  There are parts where there’s clearly too much linseed oil, and I didn’t approach the picture with much confidence and it shows.  Perhaps it’s just a question of more practice… and nose plugs… ok, and maybe less wine.

What I’m happy with:

  • I’m just thankful that the painting is not a big blob of formless goo

What I’m less happy with:

  • believe it or not, the whole wet-in-wet thing got REALLY ANNOYING REALLY FAST.  After the first few confident strokes, it was a real letdown to realize that any little accidental smudge after that meant that you’d have to do the whole area over again.  And how the Hell do you put white highlights on a surface that’s so slippery?

What I learned with this painting:

  • that I really, really, REALLY love having control and painting this way with oils gives you as much control as herding stoned cats.