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Thread: My first oil painting UPDATE: Finally Finished!

  1. #1
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    My first oil painting UPDATE: Finally Finished!

    UPDATE: Finally Finished!
    ------------------------
    Hello fine artists!

    I wasn't positive where exactly to start this thread, but I think the fine art crowd will be able to help me most. If I posted in error, I'm sure the mods will put me in my proper place.

    I'm embarking on my first oil painting and I'm very excited. I work mostly digitally.

    Eventually I'd like to use this thread to track my painting's progress, but in the meanwhile, if you have some helpful tips and/or pointers, I'd appreciate any and all words of advice before I get started.

    Thanks guys!
    Last edited by JeffZNY; September 18th, 2009 at 01:57 PM.
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  3. #2
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    don't be afraid to be loose with the paint, paint isn't precious- don't think twice about putting it on the canvas and really working it. that was my biggest problem at first, I was almost intimidated by the paint. don't be afraid to take what you've done away either, wipe it off if it's not working for you.
    hope that helps a little at least... mabye. =)
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    well, don't hesitate, but don't just throw paint around in haphazard way either. Painting requires careful thought and concentration, the amount of analysis in regard to shape, color, value and placement that you put into each stroke will show.

    In general, work from big to small, general to specific, start your paint thin and work more solidly on top. keep most of our edges soft...not mushy, but soft. Also, realize that most objects are not highly chromatic, most of the things we see are composed of harmonious grays.
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    Many thanks guys! I read something online about fat-over-lean. Is this something I should be diligent about?
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    it'll work to your advantage if you keep it in mind. use mineral spirits or turp to keep your paint thin in the beginning when establishing a wash...then use more solid paint (without medium)...THEN use paint thinned with oil if you want. Incidentally I've heard of people doing their first pass in solid oil color, then letting it dry and modifying it with oil thinned paint.
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    I've got linseed oil - just as good?
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    the oil i'm referring to in the later stages (fat medium) is linseed oil, so yes.
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    When it comes to mixing styles and pallet set up I really like what Fletcher suggests. Follow the Link in my sig and give it a read. Might save ya some experimenting time.
    "Talent is a word found in the mouth of the lazy to dismiss the hard work of those who have achieved."
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    Interested in learning more about color? Read this!
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    Started with a pencil sketch that I tweaked and "inked" in photoshop. Then I got to work transferring my sketch to my canvas. I guess most artists use a projector for this sort of thing? I don't own one, so I divided my canvas and sketch into a grid and worked that way. Not a perfect method, but okay for now...

    Sketch:
    My first oil painting UPDATE: Finally Finished!
    Canvas:
    My first oil painting UPDATE: Finally Finished!

    I know it's early, but I already feel like I've bitten off more than I can chew. Not good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffZNY View Post
    I guess most artists use a projector for this sort of thing? I don't own one, so I divided my canvas and sketch into a grid and worked that way. Not a perfect method, but okay for now...

    I know it's early, but I already feel like I've bitten off more than I can chew. Not good.
    You can easily transfer your drawing by making a photocopy of it, apply charcoal to the back of the copy, lay it over your canvas ( preferably unstretched) and then going over your lines or most important landmarks by pressing lightly with a pencil. Then you can ink in your drawing with fluid paint. I usually make sure when I ink in that I use a fairly low chroma mixture that is not too dark. (raw umber and white for example)

    The size of the canvas you're working on seems quite large for a first oil painting. A smaller canvas might be less intimidating.

    Good luck,
    Tom
    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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    Thanks for the tip Tom. Yeah, I'm working on an 18x24 canvas. It's actually a gift for my wife. I would have liked to have experimented a bit first, but there's something exciting about plunging right into it also.

    I've definitely lost some of the likeness in transferring the sketch. But I think that's good in a way because it will encourage me to explore with the paint rather than feeling beholden to the sketch.
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    That's a lovely present for sure!

    Jeff, it depends what your goals are. If you want to get a likeness it's best that you build upon accurate foundations. If there's one thing I've learned so far it is not to ignore mistakes, hoping to fix it in later stages of the painting! It nearly always comes back to hit me in the face.
    In this stage, you can easily correct when you ink in the lines on your canvas. Also, the painting will progress faster if you build upon something that is correct even though at first it may take a bit longer.

    Good luck & happy painting!
    Tom
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    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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    Hey Tom, took your advice and worked the sketch a bit more during the "inking" stage. I'm glad I did, but it's still not where I want it to be. To be honest, I found it impossible to do delicate line work. I have extremely unsteady hands (which is part of the reason that digital work is so good for me) and man, I was just having all sorts of trouble with my brushstrokes. Any further refinement is going to have to wait until I start throwing some real paint on there. As it is, I ended up laying the paint on a bit thicker than I'd intended. Hopefully as I start layering paint, I'll be able to recapture some of the likeness that I've lost from the sketch.
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