Latest Oil Painting
I’ve finally finished a painting that I’m reasonably happy with. Now that it’s up here I see some problems with it, but the photograph is partly responsible. For some reason, it distorts the image -that front table edge looks wonky here, and on the painting it’s straight – I measured it with a ruler! When I adjust the sides for straightness, something else went wrong!
I’ve been a very haphazard blogger lately. I’m not sure why, but I have trouble getting on the computer and keeping up with things. I hope that this phase will pass.
There have been a couple of questions on my studio setup – rather than answer in the comments section where they were asked (as I imagine most people don’t remember to go back and check), I’ll tackle them here.
A while back, when I decided to try my hand at oils, I bought the dvd “the Carder Method”, as I’d seen it online and it looked like a quick way to get familiar with the medium. I’m always looking for a quick learning method. Well, it’s not really that, but it is a pretty good way to dive into painting. the problem is, it involves a lot of work upstream – before you even get close to painting. One of the things he insists on is having black walls in your studio to avoid glare and cut out changing natural light in order to see the colors as they are. Well, I love my light-filled studio with clouds all over the walls, so I almost stopped right there, but I had noticed how hard it is to finish a still life, even in pastel, without the light changing a million times, whe you are counting on light coming through a window. My husband had a flash of genius one day in Ikea – he bought four large black window shades and set up a mini-studio within a studio, which can practically disappear whenever I want it to.
We also built a very flimsy light box out of a couple of cardboard boxes painted black. I posted about it previously, but for clarity, here it is again:
The still life goes in the large box and a light bulb hangs in the little black box on top. I adjust the light by filtering it with a white sheet of plastic, and by changing the size of the opening.
It’s not depressing in my little black box (everyone who visits the studio asks that!) because the lighting is 5000k, which is very close to daylight.
As for the Carder Method, there are other obstacles, such as a particular type of medium which they sell, but will also give you the recipe for. I just couldn’t get the ingredients together here in France, but found out through their forum that some people use M Graham paints successfully as they have a more liquid consistency than other brands. They are not available here either, but I had some sent.
It’s been an uphill struggle (and this partially explains why my blogging has slowed down) but I’m getting there. This method has stirred up a huge polemic in some places (notably wetcanvas). I think this is because it seems like a hack, and this angers people. (Personally, I’m always looking for a hack). I even saw a comment calling it ‘paint by numbers’. Well, without a drawing or numbers…..
I cut my teeth in oils with Nel’s online oil class, and I highly recommend it for a more conventional approach – I’m sort of combining the two at this point. Since starting with this new medium I’ve had advice from lots of people who work in it, and it’s never the same. I think there are many ways to approach it, and they are probably all good.