Saturday, 28 May 2011

Learning how to paint with oils in Provence

My challenge for this painting holiday is to learn how to paint with oils.

I've got enough time and hopefully enough good weather to make some progress.

However I'm a bit wary of the drying time, (given I've got to transport paintings home plus all the rest of the paraphernalia associated with being away for four weeks).  I've been with people painting with oils in Provence before who were completely stumped as to how they were going to transport wet oil paintings back home on a plane.

Which means I'm leaning towards using Alkyd oil paint instead as this is quick-drying and that will mean I'm hopefully transporting paintings which are dry.
All colours in the range remain workable on the palette for 4 to 8 hours, and are touch dry on the canvas in 18 to 24 hours.
Winsor and Newton - Griffin Alkyds
I'd be very interested to hear from anybody who has used either or both in what will hopefully be a warm/hot summer climate.

Colour Palette - what's available and what I will need

Below is the colour chart for Winsor and Newton's Griffin AlkydsThis is the table of information about composition and permanence which indicates all are rated extremely permanent or permanent.  Now to work out which ones to get!

Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Colour Chart
click to see larger version on W&N website

My experience when going abroad is that there is usually a colour which is quite unlike anywhere else. 

I've already asked Julian (Postcard from Provence) what his recommendations are as to colours.  I remember when I first went to Provence feeling a strong need to get some naples yellow very fast.  I also couldn't work out what colours made the sky colour or the universal blue house paint of Provence.

Julian suggestions for blues are as follows
  • Manganese blue or ceruleum and ultramarine
  • cutting ultramarine with cad red to get that hot dusty blue/grey which is so south of france
  • the deep blue of looking up away from the sun I usually manage with ultramarine and ceruleum or manganese mixed 
My Queries

Since this is a virtual house party, I've listed my queries below.  Do feel free to join in! :)
  1. What colours do I need for Provence?
  2. Does anybody had any experience of using Zest It with Alkyds?  I'm very keen on using something which is non toxic.
  3. Which brushes work best when painting small paintings with alkyds?
In my next post I'll be ruminating on easel versus pochade......


sarah said...

brushes, I get quite cheap ones, from Trago mills, Royal soft grip, short handles, come in sets of about 5 sises, for oil and acrylic, quite soft bristles, dont like hog hair ones, flats and rounds and a couple of filberts, go through them like the wind, clean brushes in olive oil.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Going to be great to see you doing some oils KAtherine...great questions here...would love to hear what people say!