Monday, April 13, 2009
Oil Painting 101
A few years ago I took an oil painting class at the local community college. The woman who taught the class was a watercolor painter who was assigned the oil painting class a few weeks before the term began. She was a very nice person, but didn’t really know what she was doing. I loved the lusciousness of oil paints, but found the class frustrating and didn’t learn much. Recently I decided to try again. I’ll be driving to Eugene once a week for the next two months for an oil painting class at the local art center. The first class was last week and I’m pleased with the teacher. She obviously knows a lot and has an encouraging and helpful manner in interactions with students.
For the next few classes we will focus on painting still lifes with objects of only one primary color. Last week we painted yellow objects, using a limited palette of alizarin crimson, cad yellow light, French ultramarine, and white.
Next week we will add cad red light to our palette when we paint red objects. By the end of the class our palette will consist of six primary colors - warm/cool versions of each.
This is my painting of a yellow flowerpot and crayon. In the oil painting world I think it’s considered important to cover the canvas completely. But I was still in partial watercolor mode and felt compelled to leave a bit of white canvas showing. I can see that leaving some white doesn't really enhance an oil painting the way it does a watercolor.