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New here as of tonight, and I have never yet painting an oil painting

So, as it says, I've never once ever painted barely anything.  Except some experimental watercolors, I'm 66 or 7 years old and have decided I'm going to try, and try, and try.  Mark says I can do it, and I'm not ready yet, but I will be.  I made my color checker, I made my brush holder, and proportional thingy and a brush cleaner and glass pallets.  I have paint, canvas, and ordered walnut oil and other things I will want, including some cheap brushes to start, and light bulbs.  I'm trying like mad to clean out the spare room where I can set things up as I like.  Easel... I'm working on...guess this may slide into fall or winter but I'll be reading discussions here and trying not to get intimidated.  So anyway, I'm excited!  You've no idea how important this is to me, always a dream of mine to paint.  Should have started 40 years ago.


  • Jennifer

    Welcome to the Forum.

    In your haste to set up your studio don’t forget to enjoy the process. 

  • Welcome Jennifer!!!   I'm excited for you!  Savor the moments of bliss to come your way :).
  • Hi @JenniferTaylor, welcome aboard. If the best time to start painting was 40 years ago, the next best time is today.
  • Every night, despite life concerns, I turn my thoughts toward what my goal for tomorrow will be. 
  • Welcome Jenn, if you had started 40 years ago you wouldn't have anything now to get you excited. It's all good. Don't know if cheap brushes was a good Idea. Have a good pair of tweezers standing by in your studio to pick out loose bristles from the paint.
  • @JenniferTaylor I am 67. I painted in the late ‘60 and early ‘70s but haven’t oil painted since. I am working on my first oil painting. What I have learned so far about painting is: The fastest way to get things done is to go slow. 
  • Thanks everyone for your comments and encouragement.  Oh boy, I found a tabletop easel at a thrift store.  It's a start. 
  • Wrap the legs/feet with rubber-bands, Jenn, otherwise it may slip away from you as you apply pressure with a brush on the canvas. Thrift stores are great for finding things for a still life set-up.
  • Bob73 Thanks for that tip, I wondered if it felt heavy enough.  It's wood, but still.  Still debating what I'll paint first. 
  • Watch MC's video on setting up a still life (he had to get his wife to help him) that will give you some ideas. I'll bet you have dozens of items in your home that would make a nice still life. It's just to get your feet wet (again) it doesn't have to be a masterpiece. Everyone here is very supportive and what ever you do can't be any worse than ours were. Lot's of good artists were shy about showing their progress. No need to be.
  • Have you got a junk drawer or a cupboard you store stuff you don't use?  Just pick 3 or 5 items and arrange them till you feel its right and there you have it.
  • Thank you so much for the encouragement!  Yes, my expectations are too high for my first try.  I like the ideas on trying found objects in my house or from where ever to arrange my first still life.  Just am ready to place an order, I won't say what medium (s) I decided upon.  Became very confused, then frustrated and a little depressed over the conversations and arguments about mediums in another art forum.  (I saw Mark's recipe)  I've never been in an art supply store, only JoAnn's and Walmart's art section.  Didn't even know you should add anything to a tube of paint to loosen it up!  Until I watched one of Mark's videos. 
  • Have you considered buying Mark's Geneva paints? It has the medium already mixed into the paint. And you only need the five colors.
  • Mark's Geneva paints would be wonderful and are on my wish list.  I'm starting with a gazillion tubes I've gathered from yard sales, which I know nothing about, except they are still soft with stuck lids, many of them haha. 
  • Glad you are here. Have fun
  • Gazillian stuck caps: wrap a rag around the tube and use pliers to open the caps. The paint may separate from the oils but you can shake em up or stir them and they may still be good.
  • Well I got all the tiny tubes open either one end or the other.  Some simply tore apart and they all were lead tubes, I think.  Price stickers said $.37 and $.55.   Salvaged what I could and put them in tiny plastic jars coated with walnut oil and then a bit over top.  Most were quite dry, don't know if those will be usable.  All said Artists' Oil Colors.  Does that mean student grade or not? 
  • Windsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colors are professional grade. I don't know about other brands. Watch out for clumps. If you can't work in the lumps don't try to use them. They are hard to get out of your brushes and off your canvas.
  • Some have clumps, bob73, that I worked at a lot.  A couple look curdled and I don't have much hope for them, so thanks for the tip about the lumps.  99% were Grumbacher.  Oh well, I have my 5 basics and didn't plan to particularly need these.  It was fun for me since, as I said, I'd never worked with oils, or opened a tube in my life. 
  • Welcome @JenniferTaylor ;  I see you are having fun already.  :)
  • I had Grumbacher too, they made me swear off oils for 50 years. The "Pretested Professional" oil colors are their best quality. "Academy" is their low scale paint. It might be best to dump the lot and find a better paint. If you can't get Geneva, Winsor & Newton works well with Mark's SDM formulae. They're not the best quality but they have good working qualities and they're reasonably priced. W&N "Artists' Oil colors" is their best quality not Artisan. You can get them from Amazon, Jerry's  . and most art supply stores. You should go to an art supply store (not a craft store) generally, the people that work there are artists as well and a lot more knowledgeable. Art stores typically are a source of informal contests, workshops and other networking opportunities. For most things especially paints and mediums, Jerry's Artarama online has the best prices and free shipping.
  • Thank you so much for all the getting started tips!  And encouragement.  Bob73, would you tell me your experience with the Grumbachers?  
  • Jenn, I "inherited" mine from my grandfather. They were already 5 or more years old. They were stiff and required a lot of medium to paint smooth lines. I didn't like them and being young assumed all oil paints were the same. My mother and an aunt painted with them also but thinned them with lots of turps. I gave up oil painting and started using acrylics. I gave the acrylics to my mother when I finished school and left home. I didn't paint again till I was in my thirties, acrylics again. then quit all together until recently when I found out everything I had been doing was wrong. I needed instruction, wanted to go to college for art classes but found out from students it wasn't what I was looking for. Bought books but became confused with the vocabulary and various styles. Then I found Mark Carder and he cleared up the mysteries for me. Now I'm trying to get my daughters who live with me to make space for my studio.
  • Thanks Bob!  Sure gives me hope to hear stories like yours and others too!  I'm very glad you finally got to try again.  And I understand about acquiring "space". 
  • edited February 17
    Well things sure have not worked out.  I asked/received the things I wanted for Christmas, paint and canvas.  I took down the tree on the 28th because my goal was to begin on the 1st.  It's more than ironic that I got sick then.  Cat scratch disease? Lyme? Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? Dr's didn't know but it put me aside for weeks and I was too ill to even care.  I'm really not this way!  But this week I did print and laminate my photo and finish my sketch.  It's only 8x10, a photograph I love, of a bird.  I haven't been able to drive so I couldn't go to Lowes for the materials for my easel and palette table and need to have someone cut it.  There surely is a lot to all of this, but it's fun and I fall asleep thinking about it every night. 

    I'm really enjoying reading this forum, but haven't participated much.  I'll have more questions than comments I'm sure.  I'm nervous but excited about learning to mix colors.  Wish me luck, thanks. 
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    @JenniferTaylor, that's good to hear, you're back on track.  Life does get in the way a lot, but you are clearly motivated.

    If you have a laminated photo already, a brush, paint and palette, you can practice mixing colors already.  If you mix small quantities, the waste is minimized.  Just saying, you don't need an easel to practise mixing.  You don't even need a photo, paint swatches are good practise too.

    I think you'll find it challenging and rewarding too, and this is definitely the place to ask questions.
  • Thank you PaulB for the encouragement.  I'm mixing paint into the medium this week, then I believe I can get started for real.  :)
  • @JenniferTaylor ;   Hi Jennifer and welcome.  It's a journey.  I'm so grateful I found Mark because for the first time in my life I have learned some down-to-earth principles and methods that enable me to paint to a higher standard than before. And I can keep using these principles to guide me while my art continues to improve. I'm 71. I'm looking forward to seeing your first DMP painting.
  • It is a journey.  I'm looking forward to seeing my first painting too! 
  • Welcome, @JenniferTaylor!  I’m just barely started too. Just posted one or two paintings and ready to start on the 3rd. You will be amazed how well you can do if you follow Mark’s lessons!!  The members of this forum are so awesome and will help you along the way as well!!  I’m 63, so you can definitely do it!!  ☺️
  • Thank you Manitou, Today I started my first painting!  I'm going to post my experience for other new painters. 
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • I finished it but can't post here as I realized it's from a copyrighted photograph so I don't think I did the right thing, getting an enlargement of the photo I used from the internet.  It never occurred to me until I started painting!!!  I'd never sell it, but I don't want to be sued either.  
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