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My First Oil Painting - WIP

I have done maybe half a dozen acrylic paintings over the last 8 years, but this is my first oil painting. It has taken me a bit to get my supplies in order, paint mixed, and setup in place. There has been a learning curve just working with the oil paint. 

I am referencing a photo I took of a mason jar, silver pouring cup, and two antique children's letter blocks. This is image is the current state. The photo is not the best quality. I will take a better picture when I am finished. 

There are a few things lacking in my studio (like quality lighting), and also I don't have a proper easel as I haven't had time to make one. I have been using a sheet music stand. I am dissatisfied with the mauve pillowcase I used as a backdrop, so I am going to rework it to better match my reference photo. 
ForgivenessmariebRoxyBoudiccaPaulBdencalmattyblueanweshatassieguybixbyEliza

Comments

  • This is coming along nicely, the mason jar looks good, which tells me your drawing must be good too, and I see a dark to light profession, so a great start - dint worry about an easel your doing fine with the tools you have to hand @twelton
    twelton
  • @twelton, I use a music stand also. I have a piece of an easel screwed onto it so I can adjust it to take different canvas sizes. I find it very stable so far.I bought the correct kelvin bulb and just plug it into a socket and hang it from a hook in the ceiling. I haven’t painted from life yet though. Your painting looks great .
    twelton
  • edited February 14
    It took me a year to get my studio together and I enjoyed every step along the way. Setting up lights was the most dramatic and welcomed change. I am grateful to have changed to oil painting in the process. The support here is outstanding! I am painting more just now and I am changing to Geneva oil paint later this year.
  • edited February 14
    This is looking good, @twelton. That glass jar is awesome!
  • Thanks @Forgiveness @tassieguy and @alsart@marieb it is good to know that I am not the only one using a music stand :)
    mariebForgiveness
  • Lessons learned thus far:

    * Color matching is key. And hard.

    * Less is more. I started by heavily overthinking the small subtle color changes, but when I would stand back to look, I couldn't notice that I had spent time mixing 3 colors for a small spot. 

    * I will waste a lot of paint. And that's ok.
    PaulB
  • twelton said:
    Lessons learned thus far:

    * Color matching is key. And hard.

    * Less is more. I started by heavily overthinking the small subtle color changes, but when I would stand back to look, I couldn't notice that I had spent time mixing 3 colors for a small spot. 

    * I will waste a lot of paint. And that's ok.
    I have good news for you:

    Color matching gets easier, the more you do it.
    Abstractions really work, but only practice tells you this.
    You will waste less and less paint as time goes by.
    alsartmariebForgiveness
  • I use less paint than when I first started, a reduction of maybe 30% - over maybe 16 weeks of DMP so I agree with that @PaulB
    Forgiveness
  • @PaulB Thank you for saying that. I figured the first two will improve with practice. I noticed that when mixing from dark to light, it was harder to make the colors more intense, so I will start mixing new little pools of paint on my mix palette. Then suddenly I have new pools everywhere with the intent of only using a portion of it. And although the paint does stay wet for days, it does start to get thicker after only about 2 days.
  • edited February 15
    Is there any way that you can fit your wet palette into a plastic box with closing lid, or purchase a cover for your palette, make one somehow? Some of us here are aware of "snap caps", I highly recommend these, very inexpensive, can be refrigerated when not in use and extend the life of your paint quite well. The least amount of air space in your plastic storage container, the better.
    PaulB
  • twelton said:
    I figured the first two will improve with practice.
    More than that, you'll find that mixing value is much more important than mixing color, and that abstractions mean using less paint, lighter touches, less concentration and more standing back.

    twelton said:
    I noticed that when mixing from dark to light, it was harder to make the colors more intense, so I will start mixing new little pools of paint on my mix palette. Then suddenly I have new pools everywhere with the intent of only using a portion of it.
    Some suggestions:

    It is difficult to make any color more intense without adding a lot of paint.  If you're trying to get a certain flesh tone, try starting with red & yellow, then desaturating and lightening it.  It's easier to desaturate than saturate.  If you find yourself adding white, then it's essentially an irreversible move.  Mark talks about this in the videos a lot.  Keep the white out as much as possible.

    The harder it is to mix a color, and the longer it takes, the bigger the pool of paint ends up on the palette.  If you can spot this happening early, use Mark's example and relocate a small (tiny) portion of that color to a new small pile, and continue mixing from there.  You can adjust a small pool of paint more easily than a large one, and with less paint added.

    To reduce waste, at the end of a session mix all the unwanted paint into a nasty color and use that to prepare some panels.  See in the photo where I used up that indescribable brown paint?  The color isn't very important, just some non-white mid tone.  I'm almost down to the point where the only paint I'm wasting is what accidentally ends up all over my elbow.



    And as @Forgiveness pointed out, you can cover your palette to make the paint last longer and contain less household fluff.  I use the lid of a storage container to cover mine.  It also helps contain odor, slightly.
  • I have thought about something like that @Forgiveness. And @PaulB that is a fantastic idea about reusing the old extra paint to prep a canvas. I hadn't thought about that. I may be able to find something to cover my paint with to lessen the drying time of the painting, as well as keep airborne particles out. I will re-watch the paint mixing videos. 

    I agree with your point about trying to achieve saturation. I tried for too long with a pile of paint I was working on, only to realize it too late and start with an over-saturated pile and "work it back down" to where I needed it. 

    That being said, the minimal palette is awesome. If someone were to give me a tube of some obscure shade of green, I don't even know what I would do with it. It is so much more simple to think in basic primary terms. 
    Forgiveness
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