Painting Oranges In Oils

I’m still plodding along, trying to figure out oil painting while also learning lots of stuff about color mixing, and the nuances of foresaking my pen and ink style.  I’d like to think I’m getting a bit better at it but there is more failure in my results than successes.  Reminds me of 2012 and my beginnings as a sketcher.  We learn from our failures so I must be learning a lot (grin).  Here’s my latest, a pot of oranges.

It’s 2022 and our province is mostly locked down as Omicron ravages our population.  We’re lucky in that Quebecers have largely embraced vaccination but still, COVID hangs over us like a wet blanket.  If the biology is sound, however, it looks like we may actually have a decent summer of sketching.  I sure hope so.  Cheers, everyone.

Doing A Bit Of Pencil Pushing

Like many artists, I collect things to draw, or at least that’s the excuse I use.  Along the top of every bookshelf in my office/studio are crammed old bottles, vases, skulls, diecast cars, animal figurines and statues of all sorts.  In the old days, pre-pandemic, I loved to visit flea markets and garage sales, looking for something I “needed.” A few years ago I found a plaster head that I think is Japanese.  As I recall it cost me a buck, maybe two. Like so many of the items that I’ve bought to draw, I’ve never drawn this head… until this weekend.  Here’s the result.  The time spent was well worth the $2 purchase price.

Oil Painting Will Get Me Through The Long Winter

Snow has arrived here in Quebec and it’s turning cold.  The first storm is always a mess because it comes mixed with temps at or just below the freezing mark and so everything turns into an ice rink.  We’re in ice rink mode right now.

This marks the switch from long walks along my river to looking out the window and wishing I weren’t such a wuss when it comes to cold.  The Arizona boy runs deep within my bones it seems and I just can’t have fun when I’m cold.

Pre-pandemic, this was the time of year I switched from sketching outdoors to sketching in museums and coffee shops.  Post-pandemic (that seems overly optimistic) I’m reluctant to do any of that.  My museum memberships have all expired and sitting in coffee shops just doesn’t appeal to me as an old, immuno-suppressed human.  And so I look out the window.

My recent interest in learning to paint and how to create art that is less reliant on line drawing looks like a fine way to get through winter.  I’m having a fun time using small still life painting as a means to learn how to manipulate oil paint.   I’ve made a tall stack of 6×8 gesso’ed panels and they’re just dandy for a winter of fun.  All I need are veggies, cups, and stuff to paint.  Here’s one where I got the bright idea to paint something glass.  I learned a lot but, it seems, I have a lot more to learn (grin)  In the end, however, I was very happy with my onion.  How could life get any better than to be pleased by an onion?

Oil Painting Of An Autumn Leaf

Maple trees are so wonderful.  They provide syrup in the spring, shade all summer, and then they produce a spectacular color display in the fall.  There is the matter of covering my lawn with a bunch of back-breaking debris but it’s a small price to pay.

I got the bright idea to paint one leaf.  “Keep it simple,” I said, “because, Larry, you do oil painting really slow.”  What I didn’t count on was how fast maple leaves begin to curl, or maybe the one I picked up was just ready to curl.  Anyways, it was a race to see whether I could paint the darn thing before the leaf rolled itself into a ball (grin).  Here are the results and I was happy with it.

 

Another Oily Baby Step

I’m continuing to slip and slide down the oil painting rabbit hole, trying to figure out how to make gesso’d panels, whether using a fabric base is a good idea, and a bunch of other stuff.  I’m spending way too much time on YouTube trying to learn how to thin oil paint, mix oil paint, etc., etc., etc.

But I’ve also been applying paint, mostly to little avail.  Switching from contour drawing to form creation with a heavy, opaque paint requires a shift in mindset that is a struggle, at least for me.

This experiment was to see if I could paint a somewhat complex object, like a squash by defining its shapes without line.  I added the knife and cup without expecting to truly paint them and so once I got the squash painted I left this one unfinished.  Right now I’m learning more from the beginnings of paintings than from spending hours trying to get details “just right” as I did with my peach painting.  So far this is lots of fun and that’s my real goal.