From my magazine days, I remember how much people like to have clear instructions about how to do something. Whether its a tricky manoeuvre
on Photoshop to taking a cutting of a plant, a bit of hand holding does wonders for confidence and success. In fact, although I love to voyage through life taking wrong turns and finding myself in little adventures I still like the occasional leg-up from someone who probably knows more than I do.
Now, I'm no expert in the field of oil painting, so this is not an expert tuition, but more a joint hand holding expedition. If you want to paint in oils then you can follow my haphazard mark making and forays into colour mixing- and if it gives you the confidence to give it a go (like me) then this entry has been worthwhile.
I would love to hear your comments too.
I photographed these daisies (actually Anemone blanda which pop up like little stars in the spring garden) in an enamel jug the other day and decided to move it inside to paint it. Here's how I went about it...
I mixed a tiny dob of French Ultramarine(I use Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour) with water. You can use a special oil but I like water. Of course, if you are using conventional oils then you need to use linseed oil. I'm going to sketch the pot with this.
I'm going to start with the teapot. It's a lovely soft yellow. I used Lemon Yellow, white and a tiny touch of Indian red. I'm mixing with a palette knife. I love this bit.
I roughly paint in the teapot and then mix some white with a tiny bit of Indian Red to make the base colour of the cloth. It's still fairly rough at this stage. Now there is a very good tip I heard but seem to forget when I am painting and it is....
Paint dark to light
Once you have white on the canvas/paper/board and try to darken it you will end up with a muddy mess. Start with dark colours and add lighter ones. I like the colours to stay clean. With watercolours you don't use white, so white is a bit of a revelation to me...it's certainly proving tricky.
Now I'm going to mix the violet/blue colour of the petals. I'm going to use French Ultramarine with a touch of Permanent Rose
I roughly pick out the petals of the flowers. Then use the same colour with some Burnt Umber added to make it more grey. I will use this colour to paint the background adding white. I'm using a palette knife to paint the background and as the light is falling across the flowers from the right I use much more white here. I'm pretty much mixing the paint directly onto the oil paper. I add tiny dobs of lemon yellow to make it feel that the light is bright. The leaves are roughly drawn in with a palette knife using Cerulean Blue and Lemon Yellow, I love the green you get when you mix these 2 colours its very clean and perfect for spring. But the leaves are quite dark so there is a touch of Prussian Blue to darken it down.
The lines of the table cloth were roughly drawn in with a mix of Cadmium red and Indian red.
The teapot has some dark shading and white where the light is reflecting off it. Next I paint in neat Lemon Yellow for the petal's stamens and highlight the petals with white.
Now it's time to sign. When I sign off a painting I don't go back and fiddle. Its easy to fiddle but it usually ends up being over-worked.
After I had finished I took a couple more photos of it with my phone, as a photographer I was itching to get a different composition, more of a photographer's composition. I will have to explore this as I don't understand why I didn't paint it like this in the beginning?
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