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I decided the only way I was seriously going to learn about oils was to go to class. So I signed up for 12 Friday afternoons at The Arts Ed Alliance on the Lower East Side of NYC.
I have probably only used oil once or twice before and really had no clue about how to use the medium. This is my first attempt in class. We had a brief intro regarding mixing the paints, and creating a tonal range on the palette and then were launched into 2 hours painting the selection of jars etc set-up as a still life using only white and black.
This is my result. It took me far too long to get enough paint on the canvas to actually start getting a consistency I could work with but I am pretty pleased with my first two hours.
Thought I would start to show how my work develops over the next couple of months.
(Is there a better way to post images on the site than this?)
Last edited by agreeable; March 13th, 2008 at 09:03 AM. Reason: added week 5
Hi sounds like you actually found a good painting class I went to one who threw us away and just told us to paint without any introduction what so ever. And they used mostly acrylics but we got to dabble with oil which is an absolutely wonderful medium. I'm sure you will enjoy your self alot. But I feel you could probabely work some of the unevenes out of your picture pretty quickely. The beauty of Oil (for me at least) was how easy it was to create nice blends and soft edges.
It looks like you have used the Attachment Manager, which is the preferred method to attach images. You could also use image tags to link the image from an outside host but that can result in broken links off in the future. Right now there is some inconvenience in using the Attachment Manager feature (because of behind the scenes reconstruction of the site). When it is working right, it will probably go ahead and show the images without need to fool around with the paperclip icon.
If you are asking about where to post images, the personal gallery thing doesn't work, so you use a thread pretty much like this or in the sketchbooks section or critique center.
Thanks for the replies.
Yeah class is what you make of it as well I guess - we are pretty much left to it but the tutor does ask how we think we are doing - if we want any help or advice etc. So far so good - tutor is www.kenmillington.com
Glad to know I am attaching images properly - just wasn't sure. Enjoying oils so far and quite like the rough overlays and transparency, don't really think the smooth blending is something i am purposefully trying to achieve yet.
Looks like stuff from my first painting class at Uni. Pretty standard, good, introduction. You're on the right track!
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Week 3's class involved mixing red and yellow to make an orange and then adding Blue to create a grey and a brown and then painting entirely with the orange, blue, grey and brown and white.
I really felt as though I was getting the hang of getting paint on the canvas this time and just dived in. My favourite part of this painting is the front bowl, on which I had built up a very creamy consistency and was able to really get some movement and form built up.
Struggling to get everything equally 'finished' such as the background and the orange bottle. Hoping that I either learn to use my time better and also gain in confidence with putting the oils down.
Looks nice. I have to say this is a big step forward compared to the first one. Much surer brush strokes and those a much more coherrent image. My favorite is actually the tin can cause there is so little brush work on it and it still reads so clearly.
I am really happy to hear you are getting a feeling of enjoyment, or at least confidence to dive in. Many people approach oils with a sense of trepidation or doom, which can constrain you. You don't learn as much because you are terrified to try things out. As you do it more you will learn how to make all kinds of marks with the various brushes so you will not have to change brushes quite so often and there will not be hesitation between marks. Then you'll be fast.
Are you mostly using rounds right now? I kind of looks like either that or filberts. Up in the orange there are some flat brush looking marks. Do they tell you what brushes to use or are you just left to pull whatever brush out seems right? It looks like you could get virtually everything on there pretty fast with one flat for the warm colors and one flat for the cool colors and then finish highlight edges to how you like them with a fan blender. Making the serrated edge for the can would eat up the most time for me.
Last edited by arttorney; February 22nd, 2008 at 02:49 PM.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
The limited pallet work is fun but this week we started a 2 week painting, the still life is ofcourse a mix of the red/green/blue/grey objects we have painted before but this time we get to use 2 reds, 3 blues and 2 yellows to mix in any way we feel appropriate. Being 'classified as colour blind I have taken too much time deliberating and struggling with the wider choice of colours.
I wont be able to photograph that for a couple of weeks but should have week 4 up here soon.
We are given free reign to experiment with brushes. I do have a mix but tend to just use the rounds. And not enough of them, I have not yet been able to restrict one for warms etc and tend to be cleaning the one or two brushes too often. I'll keep trying to remind myself.
I think 'oils' are seen as scary because they are 'proper painting'!! Where as acrylics and such are easier to play with. I held that view - now they are a blast. But with a baby arriving soon it looks like Oil Paint may be banned from our apartment so I'll be back to trusty old Acrylic. Still at least I'll be a Dad eh!
Not to much to say really.
I am classified as 'totally' Red/Green colour blind in one eye and 'very' in the other. Lets not go down the "Do you see in Black and white discussion". Obviously not. But it made this week pretty interesting. Really difficult to mix the grey and brown and if you ask me everything came out some kinda green.
Saying that some of the forms developed pretty well.
Well we got to be real painters and were allowed 2 blues, 2 reds, 2 yellows and white. Then we were pretty much left to it over a period of 2 weeks.
Whilst painting I felt that I wasn't really demonstrating any real progression over the final weeks - I felt this was a poorer painting than previous weeks.
It was pointed out though that this time I was making colour mixing choices and was able to put all the previous weeks into practice. It was this thinking though that again slowed me down as I spent periods of ten minutes or so trying to choose the 'right' combinations to mix etc.
I think my biggest fault at the moment s not stepping back from the painting - I get so engrossed and so concerned about our limited time that I just want to keep working on it. The result can be that the result, like here, looks flat and I miss drawing mistakes.
I think this is a pretty interesting image though, vibrant colour and I almost prefer the detail to the whole.
The next class is another 2 week in the same style.....
Don't worry. After you have some experience mixing you won't have to spend much time thinking about it. You'll get pretty close on your first try and possibly make one adjustment. The amount you mix will get closer and closer to the exact amount you need also.
I see some subtleties in the grays and browns that show some insight. Keep plugging away at it. I like the really dark negative space in the upper reaches and kind of wish the white table cloth had been a darker substance, but I guess that the instructor set up the still life rather than you.