Thursday, 2 April 2015

New Paints

Self 2015 Oil on canvas paper 30x40 cm.

One year in the early 1970’s I attended an evening course learning how to paint in oils with local tutor Edna Bull. Being in my mid-twenties and a family man, I just did the one-off course where I produced several paintings, most of which (bar one) have long since disappeared. Since that time, I never looked at oils again, in fact until 2010 (except two years learning watercolour), didn’t do hardly any painting.

Nowadays, I’ve used quite a number of different media, but never oils until I watched Peter Barker do a demonstration with alkyd oils at the Oadby Society of Artists one evening. Although Peter has done some fabulous work (see his blog below), this particular seascape painting was quite simple, but he did show us the virtues of using this type of oil paint. Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd oils have a much faster drying time than conventional oils allowing the artist to paint over work done less than an hour earlier in the session. Another bonus is that these oils work out less expensive than the conventional type!

Spurred on by Peter’s demo, I bought the paints and started my first oil painting in 40 years! Not wanting to splash out too much on a media that I might not use again, I opted for just three primary colours (cadmium yellow light, cobalt blue, permanent rose) and Titanium white. It’s possible to get most colours that you would need from these.

After first session
After several months of using acrylic, these oils were a dream to use and blended beautifully (something hard to achieve with acrylics). My subject matter was the self-portrait shown here and the paint was touch dry soon after each session, allowing me to transport the work home from the painting club without fear of getting paint all over the car!

This painting took around ten days, and I did quite a detailed sketch in pencil first before laying on some of this lovely medium. It took me more time to do the shirt than it did my face! I think I am hooked on these paints now, and will probably stick with them, for the time being anyway.

Check-out Peter’s excellent blog here: