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Thread: Need to learn to oil paint

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    Need to learn to oil paint

    Ok, I know it takes years of practice to learn to paint. I don't expect to be able to paint in a week. Never actually tried oil painting, apart from pushing round some raw umber in a kind of ebauche for life drawing. But my Mentor wants me to do a piece of work that reflects what I want to be doing in a year or two.
    So I was thinking maybe stick to a limited palette. Cad red, Yellow ochre, ivory black and titanium white. I think those are the colours? Or is it lamp black? Does anyone know any resources, on the web, that I can try to pick up the basics of approach and colour mixing? And anything else you think I might need to know. Thanks for you indulgence, Phil.
    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; October 6th, 2007 at 07:50 PM.
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    Seedling has this link in her signature http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=98647
    Hope it helps! Good luck.....
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    Cheers Alesoun I will check it out and thanx for luck i'll need it.
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    That palette (the "Zorn Palette") is a good start, especially for figure painting.
    Definitely use ivory black, not lamp. Lamp black is much more powerful and harder to control.

    Tristan Elwell
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    Thanks Elwell, I thought it was ivory. You are a scholar and a gentlemen. Hopefully will get to meet you at Seattle if I decide to go. Still in two minds, but I think I'm edging on going.
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    There are two tutorial pages here,
    http://www.studio2ndstreet.com/tutorials.html
    from Ron Lemen on the limited or Zorn palette
    Last edited by Elwell; October 3rd, 2007 at 11:37 AM. Reason: fixing link
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    Craig D thanks that will help with the colour mixing loads. Better start practicing some mixing after tonight's watercolours class.
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    Oops,
    Thanks for fixing the link Tristan.
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    Hey Phil,

    Working with a limited palette can have its advantages when starting out ,but there's nothing wrong with painting with a full color one from the beginning.
    Either way you'll learn about the paint's structure and handling.
    Some students may be overwhelmed with a lot of colors on their palette when starting out so painting limited might be easier to focus on what's important.
    Also you'll need to adapt to the colour variations and most importantly their
    relationships. You'll definately find out it's all relative when you paint with the "Zorn palette" ( btw the historical accuracy of the Zorn palette is debatable,
    but that's beside the issue )

    What i'm trying to say is that the important thing is to become sensitive to
    the colour and that has nothing to do with how many paint tubes you
    squeezed out.

    Oh and focus on value first, then on nailing the right color !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aardvarkphil View Post
    Does anyone know any resources, on the
    web, that I can try to pick up the basics of approach and colour
    mixing?
    Hmm colour mixing. No book in the world is gonna help you with that. You
    have to do it. Remember that lighting situations are so complex and varied
    that, " this is what to use for skintones" and other bullshit is not going
    to help you when painting from life. All colour is relative and ALL colors can
    occur when painting from life. They'll hit you when you least expect it.

    Good luck !
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    Art Addict thanks for heads up about 'Value' first and for most. Going to try a bit of colour mixing just to get a taste of how to get where I need to be. Got to whip up a life sketch. Then just dive in the deep end. Sink or swim(for a bit) and then sink, probably. But what the hell you got to try haven't you.

    Thanks again for all the advice guys. If anyone else thinks of anything please post. I need all the help I can get.

    Actually I have my first night class in oils tomorrow but I think that will focus on mixing warm and cold primary colours. Better sticking to limited palette for Mentor homework otherwise it will get to difficult I think.
    Last edited by Aardvarkphil; October 3rd, 2007 at 05:27 PM.
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    you might try vermillion red or tera rosa instead of cad red. Cad red is very saturated and can be distracting when trying to concentrate on value and temperature.
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    Good call SweetOblivion314, I've read through Seedling's thread a few times. Must have just glossed over the particular shade of red. Will pick up a tube and try that. Cheers Phil
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    A clarification:
    Genuine vermillion is a bright, opaque orange red, very similar (but even higher in tinting strength) to cad red light. It was the most commonly used bright red pigment through the beginning of the twentieth century. However, it is highly toxic (mercuric sulphide), and extremely expensive. These days it's only available in oils from a few specialty manufacturers. Almost everything sold as "vermillion" is some sort of modern organic red pigment, most of which have little resemblance to the real thing. Cadmiums are really the best readily available substitute.

    Terra rosa is an orangy shade of synthetic iron oxide (similar to mars red, venetian red, english red, etc). While not as high chroma as the cadmiums, the synthetic earth reds are very opaque and high in tinting strength. They can easily replace cads when super bright color isn't needed.

    Tristan Elwell
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