Sunday, 19 April 2009

Waterways Project: Clear Michigan Light in Oils

Oil on Canvas
4" x 12"
Lake Michigan, April 09

I've been inspired by other Watermark members Jeanette and Sarah and Vivien all of whom are working in oils lately. I have not worked in oil much since school nearly 10 years ago so I'm having to play catch up. Two books that are helping me are Brushwork Essentials and The Oil Painting Class You've Always Wanted.

The first book, Brushwork Essentials, is a very practical book for learning how to load paint on a brush and get it to make the exact stroke you want for many different effects. Very helpful to me as I find it difficult to get away from applying and mushing paint around with my gloved hand. I'm childishly attached to finger painting....still.

The second book gives some practical advice on how to set up your painting space and the nuts and bolts of creating a basic painting.

If I could only buy one, I'd buy the first one.

The great beauty of oil painting for me is that unlike my oil pastels, I have UNLIMITED color choices. I'm looking forward to Sarah's up coming post on a step by step explanation of her plien air experience as this is what I'd like to be doing this summer too!

I've also finished work on my new web sitse for the Waterways Project if you'd like to see all my work together in the same place.

oil on canvas
4" x 12"
Lake Michigan April 09 #2


Katherine Tyrrell said...

Great to see you painting in oils Lindsay. Are these studio or plein air?

I really love the one at the bottom.

I very much like the idea of the top one but am finding myself slightly distracted by (I think) the size of the brushmarks. I'm guessing here but I think it might be that I'm not seeing a sense of perspective in the brushmarks. Does that make sense?

Jeanette said...

These are great Lindsay. The road back to oils has been easy for you if these are anything to judge by.

vivien said...

mmm that second one works really well and I like the splatters and free marks on the shore

I don't quite understand the dark line in the first one?

Use a painting knife too - not to paste the paint on thickly and end up with porridge! but more to take it off, scratch through layers and put flicks of clear colour cleanly over another colour etc

and a colour shaper - like a paintbrush but with a soft white flexible rubber tip - it can be used to shift paint about to reveal lower layers. I love them.

Lindsay said...

Thank you all. Lots of practical advice for me to use.
Yes, smaller brush work in the background would help to define the depth..
And the ideas for pushing, pulling and scratching colors with those tools sounds great.
The dark line is a shadow formed by a ridge in the sand but my light direction is really not difined enough to read this well. I see I have some work to do!

vivien said...

ah I see - is it maybe too dark?

you've seen it in reality so you know but as a painting it seems that way?

I like the curve it creates though :>)

muddy red shoes said...

I love the dark line, thought it was a seaweed line but it is very graphic and I like it, lovely Lindsay, keep going. Personally I have found that altho initially oils feel much easier that watercolour my techneque has improved visibaly over the time I have been painting, like everything practise is all. Shame spelling dosnt seem to work the same way!

Lindsay said...

Well, actually, I was aiming for a "design" element with the line. Trying to balance out the dark trees in the upper right corner and add a strong line to push the viewer into the back of the painting. I'm working between reality and design because I'm not able to control the media yet.
Thanks Sara and I'm maddely paging through books trying to figure out how you get such crisp black branch lines over wet paint.
PS: I think both WC and oil are REALLY challenging.

K, I forgot to say. these were done in the studio. Not ready for the full onslaught of plein air. Soon I hope!

muddy red shoes said...

Lindsay, the branch lines are not over but next to the other colours for the most part, I also use bits of thin card, or a peice of paper folded and the edge dipped into paint then just one press and volia! Experiment and see what happens, I am working on a step by step of a painting soon which you might find useful.

Anonymous said...

Great work Lindsay! I esprcially love the second with its tranquil feel and attractive foreground.

Lindsay said...

Thanks Ronell.
Sara, what an interesting idea! Your idea has started me thinking more creatively about the application of paint. So has Vivien's remarks about pushers, scrapers and such.
Looking forward to that post!

caseytoussaint said...

Wonderful, Lindsay! I like both of these - your palette is gorgeous!