Saturday, October 23, 2010


I'm making one last effort to become an oil painter. I said that the last time I tried.... May of last year when I took a 3 day plein aire workshop in Juneau. After I got home, I didn't touch the paints again. The time before that was about 12 years ago... I did one painting which wasn't too bad. Someone even bought it. There were a couple of times before that, years and years ago. Each time, though, I probably never spent more than a week trying to work with them. Always back to watercolor with the easy clean up and no bad toxic odors.

In the last couple of years, working with gouache, I've been finding watercolor less and less appealing. I really like being able to paint lights on dark, not having to save the whites. All summer, I had lots of intentions to go outside and try out the oils again, not wanting to use them inside, but just the idea of getting outside with all the gear and remembering the frustration outside in that workshop, I never got there. I saw a show in Juneau last summer with some work done with "water miscible oils" and read up on them, figured they would be good to try, and last month ordered a few tubes made by Winsor and Newton and started working with them a couple of weeks ago. And after starting to experiment with them, I ordered some more tubes. I'm loving them.

From what I heard and read, most oil painters say they aren't like real oil paints. But since I'm not at all experienced, I don't know the difference. Here are a couple of what I did the first week:

These are both small, about 5 inches high and painted on gessoed watercolor paper

It hasn't been easy. Controlling the long brushes at an easel instead of a flat table still feels awkward and it has been hard getting the colors right and painting on top of wet paint.... especially painting on top of wet paint. I ordered some fast drying medium and hope it helps. Also ordered some more brushes and some canvas panels. I think I'm hooked.


martinealison said...

Bonjour ma chère Carole,
J'aime beaucoup le résultat, vos essais sont très concluants ! Bravo.
J'ai un ami peintre (peintre professionnel +++) qui ne peignait qu'à l'huile, puis était passé à l'acrylique... à présent il peint avec les newton et il mélange aussi l'acrylique... Les résultats sont merveilleux et il se sent bien. Tout comme vous n'est-ce pas là l'essentiel ?
Continuez... Bisous

Nancy Goldman said...

Hi Carole, these are both wonderful. It looks like you've been using this medium for a long time - not a beginner.

Carole Baker said...

Merci beaucoup Martine. Peut-être que je vais essayer de l'acrylique à l'huile. J'ai lu sur l'utilisation d'acrylique pour une sous-couche.

Carole Baker said...

Nancy, Thank you. I guess my years of watercolor painting have helped. I'm thinking the oil painting is in some ways easier.

Margaret said...

I have a friend that loves these paints as well. I think these two are great and I love the contrast in the top painting. Keep at it.

Carole Baker said...

Thank you Margaret. I wonder if your friend has used oils before. I've heard a lot of oil painters don't like them.

Margaret said...

Yes, she has painted in oils, and I think sometimes still does. But she hasn't used oils for very long either. She is a newby to art - naturally talented, self taught.