Friday, February 5, 2010

Lessons in oil...Gotta remember it ain't acrylics!!

So, today, instead of a painting I'm posting a bit of inspiration!  Yesterday while painting the oil version of Mt. Evans I forgot a few things...First STROKES...DON'T overwork...Second...mud comes when painting over!

I wish I'd taken a photo of my first attempt as it was a dismal failure.  I had put a bit of work into the mountain and when I went to paint the trees in the foreground I found that the colors all blended together and I wasn't able to pull out the colors of the trees.  This happened for a couple of reasons.  First, the photo, although beautiful is much the same value.  The mountain pic was taken on a day that was beautiful, but the sun wasn't shining on the mountain, so the colors were all muted.  NOT enough contrast in sun and shadow...well, very little!

Second, I forgot that I was painting in OIL and not acrylic.  In oil everything you lay in stays wet and so you can't go on top and add a lot of other color and paint without it sort of melding into the layer beneath...so I had something that was very much all the same value! SIGH...So, I wiped out the trees and began to put the mountain back a bit and will now wait until it dries a bit so I can add a layer of tree in front.  Through this process I got a devilish idea...the colors are all so muted....so I will let that be...AND, instead of pines, I'm going to put some big ole aspen trunks in front...sort of like the mountain is seen through a window of large aspen.  The color differences should bring the trees up, and let the mountain lay in the background...thus making the muted tones of the mountain be in the back...Will it work?  Don't know yet...but the experiment will be fun...I'll post the results when I get them...good or bad...

Lesson hopefully learned...and then I go on!  So, today is just a bit of inspiration instead...The light and frost on the leaves I found beautiful!  Yep, still winter here...I'm longing for spring already!! 

5 comments:

Carol Nelson said...

When I have a major passage in an oil landscape that is not right, the easiest thing is to wipe the paint off the canvas and start over.
You are right in that if you try to paint over wet oil, you may end up with mud.
The trick is to plan ahead in looking at your source material. Value changes are one of the most important considerations.

Watercolorist said...

One of the useful things I have learned with Jerry Stitt is that you don't have to stick to painting what you see. Add your own variation, colors or values to make the painting work. This has helped me tremendously. Looking forward to seeing the end result.
Jean

Charlene Brown said...

I know virtually nothing about painting in oils, and not much more about acrylics, but found your problem analysis and proposed solution quite fascinating -- and I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of your experiment.

AutumnLeaves said...

Interesting thought processes as always, Saundra. I just know you are having fun working this out too. It will be beautiful, of that I have no doubt!

Saundra Lane Galloway said...

Thanks you all for your helpful comments!! I need to remember what medium I am working in! SOO helpful! Now, to try some more!!

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