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Sunday, October 10, 2021

Trying Oils Again! Here is What I am Doing

       Summer Aspens'                  6x8           oil on panel             ©Karen Margulis       available

It has been in the back of my mind. I have not acted on it. There is so much I want to do and there never seems to be enough time but this time I am going to follow through!  Over the last few years I have wanted to expand my art knowledge and get more comfortable working with oil painting. I have tried occasionally to start an oil painting habit but it never lasted more than a few weeks. This time I am committed to following through. I know that being fluent on more than one medium is helpful. I want to feel as comfortable with oils as I do with pastel and I know this will take work!

Here is what I am doing to help me be more successful this time around!

  • I am taking an online course with Scott Christensen. He has created a wonderful and comprehensive online course. You can work on at your own pace. The video lesson are broken into small chunks form 5-30 minutes each. These are easy to fit into a busy schedule. Spending money on a course is definitely worth it and it is very motivating!
  • I have invested in better supplies. I know from my experience with pastels that materials do make a difference. I splurged and purchased the Vasari paints and Rosemary brushes that Scott recommends. If anything I am motivated to use them because they were not cheap! (they are wonderful though) 
  • I set up a dedicated space in my studio for oils. In the past I didn't have a dedicated space so I needed to clean up after each painting session. I know that supplies need to be available and easy to access and clean up or they will not be used....excuses will be made!  I am fortunate to have a big studio space so there was no excuse not to set up an easel and table dedicated to oils. 
  • I am keeping it simple. I am starting with a limited palette of blue, red, yellow and white. Scott uses a warm and cool of each and I have them but I will work with just the three for now. I have to ease into mixing paint!

  • I am using pastel studies to help me ease into oils. My plan is to paint a small 6x8 study at least three times a week. More is better but three is doable. I am preparing value thumbnails and plans for paintings during my non studio time so I will have a stockpile of ideas. I am taking the extra step of doing a small pastel study. This is helpful because it allows me to work out my colors. All I have to do is figure out how to mix them!
I just started this journey and have two oils finished. The best part is I woke up today excited to get into the studio for my next painting! I love learning new things!  

                                                     5x7 pastel study for my oil painting

The plan and the painting

                    Here is a closeup of my tree trunks. I do love the ability to get thick texture with paint!

I will share my progress from time to time here and on my social media. @karenmargulis. What do you do to help you stick to a painting goal?

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