Category Archives: Oil

Color Study: Sleeping Venus

Greetings everyone!

A color study of Simon Vouet “Sleeping Venus”.  Simon Vouet (1590-1649) was a french painter that was heavily influenced by the Italian Baroque style of painting. To know more about him and his works of art please visit wikipedia

 

 

Music by Bensound

Oil Painting Grisaille Study

Today, I am posting my oil painting grisaille  study of Cornelis van der Geest, by Anthony Van Dyck.  This has been a three week study. I don’t consider it a successful study, meaning that I am not satisfied with the results I am seeing. I am going to shelve it for awhile. To be honest, I feel I am slowly ruining the study: my values are shifting all over the place with each pass that I do and I am slowly loosing the likeness as well.  So, it makes sense to walk away from it for awhile and return to it with “fresh eyes”.

My process is very standard. I do a drawing first on the panel, then I seal with a mixture of 50/50 Dammar Varnish and Odorless Mineral Spirits(OMS) with a hint of burnt umber to create a wash. I let lit dry for about a day.

Step 1:

Oil Painting Grisaille Study - underdrawing
Graphite drawing

Here is my initial drawing using a graphite pencil. I try to keep the drawing loose and to include only the essential marks that will help me with the underpainting. Sometimes, I tend to include too much detail which eventually get obliterated when I start painting. Do not spend too much time in the drawing phase, especially for just doing an oil painting study. If you are just starting with oil painting, the goal is to get comfortable with  medium and learning various brush handling techniques.

 

 

Step 2:

Oil Painting Grisaille - sealed underdrawing
Sealed graphite drawing with burnt umber wash

I sealed the drawing and did a light wash of burnt umber.  Some of my initial drawing was lost in this process, which is okay because I can find the forms again during the underpainting. You still have to draw, even if you are painting! Your ability to draw is essential.

 

 

 

Step 3:

Oil Painting Grisaille Study - first pass
Grisaille first pass

This is my first pass. I am loose with the values. At this point, I am just establishing the relative values I see at first glance so to speak, they are not accurate. I am also doing some form modeling, establishing my lights, darks, and halftones. Regaining the forms that I lost during the umber wash.  I am using a 2 to 1 mixutre of OMS and linseed oil (lean medium) to thin the paint.

 

 

Oil Painting Grisaille Study - second pass
Grisaille second pass

I believe this  was my second  pass.  Here I am refining my forms, and doing my best to accurately depict my values. In addition, I am using a mixture of 2 to 1 mixture of linseed oil and stand oil (fat medium).

 

 

 

That’s it so far. Stay tuned for another study, this time it will be Gustave Courbet, The Desperate Man, 1844-45

Burnt Umber Underpainting

 

UnderpaintingGreetings everyone! The purpose of this study was to get familiar with oils, understanding its nuances. I did not do any preparatory drawing, just took my brush and burnt umber and started sketching. Earth pigments tends to dry fairly quickly, and Burnt Umber is no exception. By the next day I was ready start another layer of painting. Since this was a short study, I did only two layers, thinly. My goal is to post more of my burnt umber underpaintings. Any feedback/comments/ suggestions are appreciated. Until next time, then.

Munsell Neutral Value Gray Scale

Munsell Gray Scale
Munsell Gray Scale

In the process of painting Munsell Neutral Value Gray Scale for my planes of the head study. I created the craft spoon neutrals a year ago, using my mixture of Burnt Umber, Ivory black, and Titanium White. I completed the long vertical strips yesterday using Williamsburg Neutral Gray oil paint values 2, 4, 6, 8. I mixed the intermediate values 3, 5, and 7. My neutral gray mixtures (craft spoons) compared to Williamsburg’s Neutral Gray were pretty darn close and in some cases they were identical,  or at least I could not detect any difference in values with my own eyes.

Oil Figure Study

Female Figure Study
Female Figure Study

 

Oil figure study on linen. Reference was obtained  from New Masters Academy.

This was not a study about rendering details, but about establishing  big shapes, proportions, light and dark patterns. I used Transparent Red Iron Oxide (TRIO) as my single color pigment and a mixture of French Ultramarine Blue and TRIO to paint my darks.

Problems:

Painting on portrait smooth linen is great, however, if your pigment out of the tube is soaked with medium (walnut oil in my case) or you add to much medium, you will find that your brush strokes quickly get out of control. If your pigment out of the tube is too oily, just mixed a little bit of Gamblin’s Cold Wax Medium; it reduces the oiliness and consequently the glossiness of your painting.  Personally, I prefer to have a matt look to my underpaintings.

Your questions and comments are always welcomed.

Oil Figure Sketch on Linen

Oil figure sketch on 12 x 16 oil primed linen canvas. This was my first time painting on linen and I have to say, it was incredible!  It was just the right texture and smoothness that I wanted. Erasing on oil primed surfaces is a dream, compared to the acrylic primed canvases that I have used in the past for sketches.  The acrylic primed canvases soaks up the oil, thus making it difficult for making corrections. I have tried Arches Oil Paper for doing sketches, but they are even worse than acrylic primed canvases. Once the pigment is laid down, there is just no removing it, unless you cover it up with another pigment, which is fine if you are sketching with multiple pigments.

However, oil primed linen are expensive! I have decided, however, to use one oil primed linen canvas solely for the purpose of doing sketches. I will simply sketch, take a picture, and erase when I am done. I plan to get a lot of mileage out of it.

Your questions and comments are always welcomed.