Friday, 25 March 2011

Paint Party Friday...a week in oils

So, this week I've been mostly working on that oil painting I started as a gift to my brother-in-law.  Just to give you the background - they bought a house down near Hampton Court Palace down the South of England last year.  It dates back to the 1800s and is gorgeously quirky inside.  It's called King's House and  possibly belonged to the grounds keeper of some king or other (English history isn't really my forte!). This is a view of it from the street.  My brother-in-law likes original art work so it seemed like an appropriate gift (maybe someday it'll be valuable!) It isn't finished yet as I've been leaving a couple of days between each painting session to try to let the paint dry.

This is the first time since school (back through the mists of time) that I've used oil paints.  I had a brand new box of them sitting in my art supply cupboard that I've had for about 10 years.  Seriously.  I'm surprised they hadn't all dried up in the tubes but as they were all unopened, luckily they're good as new.

Things I like about oil paints:

  1. you can draw the outline of your subject using a paintbrush
  2. If you make a mistake, you can just go over it
  3. Ditto, if you try a particular style of applying the paint and it looks rubbish, you can paint over it in a different style.
Things I don't like about oil paints:
  1. They take a really long time to dry - especially when you're used to working in watercolour
  2. The turps/white spirit really stinks which isn't great when your studio is your kitchen!
  3. I keep smudging the bottom of the canvas with my sleeve 
Overall though I have to say I am enjoying using oils and have already been thinking about what I'd like to paint next.  I did try to do this in a pointillist style but surprisingly I am finding it much harder to do in oils than I would've thought.  Maybe it's just the subject matter in this case that needs to be more detailed than pointillism would allow but it really isn't as easy as I imagined.  Even more kudos to my arty hero George Seurat in that case!!

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3
Got a long way to go yet - good job my brother-in-law's birthday isn't till May! Don't forget to pop on over to Paint Party Friday to see what everyone else has been up to this week.

34 comments:

  1. Ive never tried oils before, cant seem to get on with them. I enjoy mixed media lately, or anything thats a bit different. Thanks for the tip about a blog button, I will try that, also the "font" on my blog - just go to your blog template page where you set up all your original settings etc and click on "advanced", (it took me a while to find it, but it is there!) from there you can get all sorts of lovely fonts in all different colours, you just have to click "apply to blog" when youve finished. x

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  2. You're making great progress, it looks awesome! And welcome back to oils (my fave)!

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  3. You're doing great! Love to see the finished painting. Wonder when I'll dare to try oil painting ... Thanks for sharing! ;)

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  4. I love seeing the painting in stages. It's turning out beautifully! I don't think I would have the patience for oils. So long to dry. But they do turn out lovely! I can't wait to see the finished piece.

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  5. Wow, it's looking great! What do you mean by "someday it might be valuable?" It's looking valuable already! Great job, chica! I'm a big fan of your work...whatever medium you choose.

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  6. Your painting is coming along very nicely. I tried oils and found I was just too impatient to wait the drying time.

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  7. This looks amazing! I never tried oils but I noticed it's getting back in style. :)

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  8. Wonderful piece! Very interesting see the stages and look forward to more next week. I've never experimented with oils, so appreciate your review.

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  9. I used to live near Hampton Court Palace. I probably went past this house at some point! You're doing a great job. I don't like oils for the same reason as you - but it's mainly the smell!

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  10. This painting is looking really good! I have haven't used oils since I was a kid, and then they didn't turn out so well. I get it that the drawbacks are that they dry very slowly and I'm not crazy about that. I did purchase some alkid (sp) oil paints that supposedly dry quickly but I haven't had the nerve to use them as yet, maybe soon!

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  11. This is stunning- the way you're capturing the light across the face of the house is especially good!
    I think I've tried to work in oils once and the drying (or non) factor was too much for me to deal with.
    I can't wait to see the next steps on this!
    Happy PPF!
    Stephanie

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  12. This is coming along quite nicely. I haven't worked with oils much but the little bit I did, I really enjoyed them, just not loving the clean up of brushes involved afterward. I'm sure your brother in law is going to love this.

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  13. Great start. I am looking forward to following you on this oil painting!

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  14. this looks so beautiful, lucky brother in law. Oil seems intimidating, but you made some good points about it.

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  15. Does he know it's coming Nicola or will he read your blog and not have a surprise? I think a painting of one's house is one of the nicest gifts you can receive!

    Great progress! Wonderful to see how you work! Looking forward to more at next week's party!

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  16. I like this estate very much. It will be awesome when you have completed it. Already it looks move-in. Great job. Oils, well I was just thinking about going back to oil but like you, I don't like how long it takes to dry and I get really messy when I use oils. Great job, look forward to the next session.

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  17. This is really great to see it coming together. I love architecture. I have never worked in oils. My brother is an artist and always asks why don't I work in oils. So far I think mostly expense and I do love acrylics. Maybe one day I will try. Thanks for your pros and cons on it. Lovely job I can't wait to see more! ~Theresa

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  18. oooh, i like how this is coming along. i have always wanted to do oils. it looks so beautiful when they are done, but i canunderstand it would be hard to have to wait so long for them to dry! your brother inlaw will totally love this i am sure! xo have a great friday!

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  19. So gorgeous...such a wonderful enchanting feel to this piece..shine on..beautiful work!
    victoria~

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  20. It's looking great so far! Can't wait to see the finished piece! :-)

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  21. I agree with Ileana - it's already looking valuable! I love seeing the stages and I can't wait to see more!

    xo
    Kristin

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  22. You're doing a good job. I use many times the oil, tothe walls can use a brush with rubber tip so you get something like pointillim. Saludos desde España

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  23. Oh this is coming along wonderfully. What a fantastic present. I have never worked in oils, I am not patient enough. They do have stunning finishes though.

    FYI- Artfest is an Art retreat in Washington. For three days you take classes with different artists and stay in dorms with other artist and eat with some different artist. It is wonderful fun. There is a retreat in England similar to artfest that is run by Beth Nichols @ dowhatyouloveforlife.com

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  24. WOW, that's going to be beautiful. I would love an old quirky house like that and what a great gift to give someone. Handmade and well thought out gifts are the best in my opinion!

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  25. this is looking great so far.....what a lovely present to give :)

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  26. This looks amazing, and its not even finished! Such detail and such a challenging piece, but you seem to be mastering it beautifully. A fabulous gift that is sure to be valuable one day! Looking forward to seeing this one finished :) Have an inspired weekend!

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  27. Wow. What great work! I think your brother will love it! I have not done oils since high school. I don't know how I would do with it. Hmmmm I may have to try again.

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  28. The painting looks to be shaping up really well! I love the backstory as well. I hear ya on the taking forever to dry I went from exclusively watercolor prior to university to all oil through my painting classes in university and it was a weird adjustment. You learn to use it in your favor though for sure. (And I hear you on the smudging, not only would I smudge the bottom of the canvas, but then get it all over my face hahaha).

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  29. Your painting is coming out great! Can't wait to see it finished. I used to paint extensively in oils and have now switched to watercolors. I agree with everything you say about painting with oil! So you can switch to Turpenoid to deal with the smell, it has no smell and works great. You can use a Maul stick to keep your sleeve off the wet paint. As far as taking a long time to dry....I know,right? That's why I switched to watercolors. Thanks for stopping by my desk. Happy painting. :-)

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  30. Your painting looks great- just like the real thing. Keep up the good work. I am sure B-I-L will be pleased. Mum

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  31. Very nice work, Nicola! For anyone wanting to get the strong hues of oils, but not all the negatives...try water-mixable oil paints: http://www.winsornewton.com/products/oil-colours/artisan-water-mixable-oil-colour/
    They have a thicker consistency, quicker drying time and great color intensity ;) Kathryn

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  32. Wow....this is amazing work! I really appreciate the progress shots. I never tried oils...I think it's the clean up that scares me.
    xo

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  33. Thank you all so much for the really positive comments and also for the useful information on quick drying oils, non-smelly turpenoid, maul sticks and rubber tipped brushes for pointillism s well as telling me about artfest and providing a link to a UK based event! Brilliant. I'm loving ppf and all the amazing artists i'm getting to share it with! Btw, Eva, my brother-in-law doesn't know about it although my sister does and he def doesn't read my blog so am pretty sure it'll still be a surprise!

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  34. Takes time for a something good to evolve and painting in oil just isn't for me. I used a black oil by mistake for my painting and when I tried to clean the brush I was surprised to see I had used an oil tube....bad eyes....Oh well for you and others who can manipulate them they are extraordinarily beautiful with stunning results and your painting will be that, just from this visual it looks great.

    Lovely gift for sure.

    Annabelle >^..^<

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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