Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Back to oils

This past week a pack of canvases I had ordered finally arrived, and over the weekend I started on a new oil painting.  I have been concentrating on pastels lately and neglecting oils, but it felt good to get back into them.  Seeing swaths of color spreading loosely over a larger area is quite satisfying.  I find that pastels work well for me when I want to paint an object or place in careful detail.  Perhaps it's because I feel like I can have more control when holding the pastel directly in my hand as opposed to paint at the end of a brush.  It's not that a pastel painting can't be rendered loosely, or an oil tightly, but they just seem to lend themselves to me in different ways.

The biggest issue I have with oils is waiting for them to dry so that I can get on to the next step!  Using oil sticks helps a bit with that as they often dry by the next day, but since the colors can't be squeezed out onto a palatte, blending must be done on the canvas.  As a result I often find that I combine tube and stick paints.  It extends the drying time a bit, but with a stack of canvases at hand, I can work on more than one painting at once.

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