Thursday, October 25, 2007


I am so STOKED! Last night was our first Oil Painting class and was it COOL. And let me tell you, boys and girls, it is way easier to create a grey scale in oils than it is in pencil.

We learned about brushes and canvas and gesso and Impasto and Alla Prima and all kinds of stuff last night. And then we started on our paintings. Actually, what we did was to begin an underpainting - which is where one blocks in the relative light and dark values of the piece. I have mine sort of blocked in and between now and the next class I am going to wash in a light grey tone over the whole canvas to make sure there is no bare canvas anywhere.

The subject of the painting is the beached fishing boat I took a picture of on the Ireland trip in 2000. There are actually, to my eye, several good paintings in that one photograph. I think I may wind up painting this scene (or elements of it) more than once - there is just so much there. Later, when I get better, I want to paint the picture I took of Alex standing on the cliff at Clifden, also in Ireland, and also from the same trip. Ireland is an amazing place. We were there in November, and at that time of year it's like the whole country is one great big art studio - the whole place is side lit because the sun never gets very high in the sky when you're that far North.

Anyway, back to class. I think I need better brushes than what I bought - I have a couple of sable brushes and they're great, but I have some synthetic brushes and they're too stiff - I don't like them as much as I like my hair brushes. And the Reeves paints - when I squeezed out my first dollops of paint onto my pallet to begin mixing up my 'neutral' for the underpainting, there was almost as much linseed oil as there was paint. Not good.

Tonight I am going to take a picture of my painting and post it here. I am going to try to document the progress of my painting as it becomes whatever it is going to be when it is done. So I will take a shot tonight and then another right before we go back for our second class - because I intend to have the entire underpaint done before our next class - which is in two weeks - we are taking Halloween off - so it is going to look different in two weeks than it does now.

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