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Friday, January 07, 2022

This is the Year! Learning How to Paint with Oils

It was 2005. I picked up a pastel for the very first time. I had no idea how to use them. I had visions of beautiful paintings in my head but my hand could not get those fat sticks to make the marks I wanted. I began taking classes with a wonderful artist and teacher, Marsha Savage. But I still struggled. It wasn't enough to go to a class.....I needed to practice!  Enter this blog...Painting My World. I began to paint something small every day and blog about my experience. (you can still see this early posts in the archives)

Guess what happened? It worked! The blog became my accountability partner. I felt guilty if I didn't have a painting to post so I painted. The more I painted the more fluent I became with the language of pastel. Painting and blogging became a habit and the work I put into my paintings began to show. My paintings were improving and I was gaining followers to my blog which was an unexpected bonus. 

It is now 2022. I am now a full time artist and teacher of pastel painting. Many of you have followed me over to Patreon where I still post everyday and share my pastel lessons, demos and challenges. This blog has sadly been neglected. There are only so many hours in the day!  But it dawned on me that blogging about my art life has been a tremendous help to me in the past so I need to make time for it. 

Last week I had an idea! One of my goals this year is to become more fluent with oil painting. I have started and stopped a few times over the last few years. I would do a few paintings and then life got in the way and the paints got neglected. This year I want it to be different. I want it to feel just as liberating to paint with oils as it does with pastels. I have the tools. I am taking an online workshop with Scott Christensen. I am missing one ingredient to success.....PRACTICE!  I need to put in the time at the easel and the miles of canvas if I want to get better. Here is my plan:

  • I set up a dedicated easel and table devoted to oils. It has every thing I need to paint efficiently. I don't have to move or clean up this area (photos coming soon) This will be a no excuse oil painting area. It is all there. I have no excuse not to use it!
  • I made a commitment to success by getting new oil painting supplies. I treated myself to some of the finest materials....Rosemary brushes and Vasari oil paints. I know from my experience with pastels that having quality supplies can make a big difference. They are not magic but combined with practice they are worth every penny. 
  • I invested in great instruction. I joined Scott Christensen's Adventure of Painting online course. It is a wonderful resource and not just for oil painters. I am only half way through the course but I look forward to my evening video class with Scott. Investing in instruction does two things....I am learning but I am also motivated to show up because it was not inexpensive :)
  • I am trying to paint a small oil study every day. My goal is every day but I will be satisfied with at least three painting days per week. I am finding that if I start a painting in the morning I can come back to it before dinner when I am caught up with other tasks. 
  • I plan to use this blog once again as an accountability partner. I would like to post more often and share my oil journey with you. I will also share my pastel life and keep you posted on what I am doing!

In upcoming posts I will share my approach to oils as a pastel painter. I can't help but bring this experience to my oil attempts. Below is a photo of the underpainting for the Queen Anne's Lace 8x6 oil. It is thin oil paint. I might do the exact same type of underpainting for a pastel. I am also working with a limited palette which I will share soon. 

 Thank you for being here and for joining me on my journey as I continue to Paint my World!

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