|'Prairie Magic' 5x7 oil on panel ©Karen Margulis|
available here $75
I could read about it. I could watch videos. I could buy all the supplies and stare at them. But I won't ever become fluent if I don't jump in and do it. I am talking about becoming fluent with oil painting. Like learning a language, the best way to learn is to speak...to jump in and communicate in the language. I have been wanting to get better at oils but just have not spent time really working at it.
I want to feel as comfortable painting with oils as I do pastels. I'll discuss why in another post but to become fluent I know I need to practice. I decided that joining Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge will give me the push I need to paint in oils every day. Daily painting worked for me with pastels so I know I can do it if I am committed to making it a habit. There are almost 1000 artists around the world joining the challenge. See the challenge paintings here.
I have set up my studio for success. I want to make it easy to do a quick daily painting. Let's take a tour:
This is my oil painting corner. I have invested in a new set up for oils. I purchased a Strada Micro easel. It is a very compact box that works nicely with my Oben tripod. My intention is to do more plein air and be able to paint with either pastel or oils. I am going to the Plein Air Convention in April with Marsha Savage and plan to bring my new Strada. It is an investment for sure but I have learned the hard way with pastels....spend the money for the best you can afford rather than trying to make due and struggle with lesser equipment. (all the cheap equipment will eventually add up anyway!)
A closer look at the Strada. I purchased the two side trays that come off and store inside the box for travel. I love how easy it is to attach a panel. No knobs or screws to turn and tighten and lose!
I set up a little side table to hold my brushes, paper towels and water. I am using Cobra water soluble oils for this project. I have regular oils but I want to make clean up quick and easy. I really don't know the difference between the two since I have used either so little. It is all a learning experience!
I am planning to begin with a limited palette of Ultramarine Blue, Red, Cad Yellow Medium, white and black. I have other colors available but I am learning how to mix paint so I want to keep it limited so I can learn slowly. Today's painting was done with this palette.
I began the painting by toning my panel with transparent oxide red. I did a quick drawing with pencil and started with a thin wash of dark purple. Throughout the painting I kept asking myself...."What would I do if I were painting with pastels?" It helped me decide how to build the painting.
After I finished the oil painting I decided to add another element to the challenge.....I will do a small 5x7 pastel of each daily painting. This way I can compare and learn from each medium.
I really liked my oil set up. It truly was easy to get going and clean up. I am going to enjoy this challenge!
Oil on the left and 5x7 pastel version on the right both available $75 each