Saturday, 18 June 2011

The second oil painting was another story

I enjoyed painting my first oil painting. However the second (and the third - which was a repeat of the second) were a different story.

I think they were both pretty awful - which was quite depressing

I had to give myself a pep talk of the "It takes a long time to acquire skill - you can't expect to be good straight away" variety.

I found the paint quite sticky to work with compared to the previous day and need to work out whether it's the weather or me.

Here's a shot of it in the field - literally - before I had a go at "improving it". I tried another version - equally bad.

The second oil painting - in the field and unfinished

11 comments:

annie said...

Brave and creative Katherine...A new medium must be so frustrating. But I know that you'll soon figure out what is causing the difficulty. Sticky sounds about as yucky as it can get...
annie

Bridget Hunter said...

I think its wonderful the way you're pushing yourself to try new materials- and I'm sure you'll be more than pleased when you look at your work at the end of the holiday and see how much you've progressed.Sometimes its best to turn it to the wall and look again after a few days. Its looking pretty good to me.

"JeanneG" said...

When I did oils (the old kind you used turpenoid with), I added a little more medium with the paint if it got sticky. Also if it was a dry painting (not sure if yours is dry or not), I would put a little medium on the painting to give it some moisture. It would be like rewetting on a watercolor but the oil won't be getting wet again (if it is dry), just gives a little bit of moisture for the sticky paint. I don't know if that helps.

quirkyartist said...

I find oil painting en plein air really sticky messy and frustrating. What I say to myself these days is 'why would you' when acrylics or watercolour are so much easier and less messy.

Anita said...

My father's words of wisdom on trying something new (appropriate for Father's Day) - "The first time its an instinctual reaction, you just do it - and it seems to work quite well. The second time you try to think about how you did it the first time and then you lose the instinct and at that point you have to learn how to do what ever you are trying to do." Oils are incredibly frustrating - have a look at this tutorial, link to part 2 is at the end. Works well! http://newberryworkshop.com/Tutorial/plein/plein1.html

David said...

Probably nowhere near as bad as you imagine! As Bridget says, let it 'rest' for a while. I kept some of my early oils that I didn't like as they're part of the learning curve. Are you using Alkyd's? They are stickier than straight oils. Some brands and colours are stiffer too (e.g. Winton titanium white seems very sticky compared to W&N). The paint surface makes a big difference with oils for me. Sometimes I end up with a 'wipe down' simply because the surface was too absorbent (cheap canvas boards being the worst) or too slippy (e.g. smoothed board).

Main thing is not to doubt your ability. These are merely technical issues!

vivien said...

good points from everyone

I think you did buy canvas boards? I hate them! could be the boards? and Anita is spot on with her learning sequence comments.

Just practice, keep going, no pressure on yourself.

sketching in oils is brilliant, go for it!

Louise said...

If you are having tacky problems with the viscosity of your oils, get some medium specifically for water based oils. Do not try to thin them with water as a thinning agent. It will break down the integrity of the paint itself. And you need to remember that scumbling on a dry oil painting can give you gorgeous effects. Not all plein air paintings are completed in the field. Lighten up Katherine. You are doing very nice work. Being too critical will only result in you not liking this new medium. It has a lot to offer, but you have even more, with endless possibilities now you are using a new medium. So let it dry and give it a go again.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Just keep going Katherein and yes...leave it aside for a while..
Ronelle

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Thank you for all for the really kind words and very helpful advice

I think we may have nailed the culprit in the sense that I was using a canvas board second time - and fortunately bought a pot of gesso with me and am now going to paint my boards with gesso!

Anita - great advice from your Dad!

Louise - I'm using alkyds not water-based oils. Sarah is not having a problem with them so I think this is just me not using enough paint on my brush.

Joan T said...

I think I've posted on everyone's personal blogs about how much I've enjoyed seeing the work you each did in Provence. I loved reading about your days, and fun experiences. I think I might have fought Robyn for that blue pitcher she bought if I had been there. Thanks for sharing all your work!

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