Harrison at Daytona Beach #2

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Comment by Cheryl Lipham on May 20, 2012 at 6:16

Stuart, you are the best!  Thanks for all of the encouragement.  It's a beautiful day outside and I'm going to go paint! 

Comment by Stuart J. Gourlay on May 20, 2012 at 2:13

Cheryl, just take a look around your community at the art classes in adult education programs at either community colleges or high schools.  Look for a beginner or intermediate oils course.  You will pick it up very quickly, you just need the fundamentals of working in a different medium.  You could also go into the wet canvas forum or any of the other online sites with YouTube videos and do it on your own.  Also, a lot of art stores will have demos and classes by artists.  I started painting in oils as a child with formal instruction and then did not paint for a long time in oils.  I painted in acrylics only for years and was mostly self taught.  About 12 years ago, I started painting in oils and a friend who teaches mentored me very briefly in a series of evening classes.  Oils are so much easier to work with and have such a wonderful appearance that you will be amazed at the difference. 


Comment by Cheryl Lipham on May 20, 2012 at 1:35

While I've only been painting since '07, mixing colors was not difficult for me.  I was familiar with the color wheel and jumped into it from there.  My major problem seemed the application - what brush to use - flat or round, nylon or bristle - where to start first on the piece - translucent paint or not.... By trial and error I got more familiar with everything and  have been learning more each time I paint...if it doesn't look good...I paint over it! HA!!  Like Stuart says...it's supposed to be relaxing... and FUN!  

Comment by Caleb Mowery on May 19, 2012 at 15:51

When I first began oil painting, I bought the "big 24 pack" of oil paints (student grade of course). I felt as though I would get lost with all the color selections and mixing. I then learned that virtually any color (including gorgeous blacks) could be created from the primary colors (with the aid of white). I upgraded my oils, only buying what other artists deemed the most like the primaries and what was available at the store. I have learned soo many things about color relationships and color mixing. I believe that I would still be lost and confused with too many choices. I feel as though I have a much better handle on color now (I know I still have a looong way to go).

Comment by Cheryl Lipham on May 19, 2012 at 12:59

Thank you for taking the time to explain all of this.  It's really like Greek to me!  I will take your advice and seek out an instructor.  Looking forward to advancing!  Happy painting!

Comment by Rita Long on May 19, 2012 at 4:21

It is comforting and educatinal to hear your words of wisdom. 

Thanks so much.


Comment by Stuart J. Gourlay on May 19, 2012 at 2:55

Rita, yes, that's exactly what I mean.  Richard frequently does that as do many other artists.  It is a quick and easy way to start a painting; the acrylics must be dry and not too thick, because there is only a mechanical bonding of the oil to the acrylics, not chemical.  If you brush on some Liquin (alkyd medium from Winsor Newton) or other alkyd medium and wipe most of it off, you will improve the bonding and accelerate the drying of the oil layer a little.

Cheryl, I have been painting for a long time and painted only in acrylics for years, but really prefer oils.  I mostly use Gamblin's oils.  I like their consitency and quality.  Another very good brand is Winsor Newton.  Avoid "student grade oils"; they have a lot more fillers and less pigment.  A very good website for properties and techniques of oil painting is Gamblin's website www.gamblincolors.com ;  it is the encyclopedia of painting knowledge for oil painters, at least on art materials.  A good idea is to take a beginning class in oils or get a friend who has painted in oils to mentor you for a little bit, but you already know how to paint and will pick it up quickly.  One big difference from acrylics is that acrylics are always darker when they dry than when they are wet; so color matching and value matching on the canvas is difficult as is blending because of the rapid drying. 
With oils, what you see is what you get except for a little dulling as they dry; rewetting the surface with linseed oil and/or alkyd medium ("oiling out") alleviates this and gives an even gloss, as does varnishing.  If you are good at mixing your colors you can start out with a limited palette and not too much expense.  The brushes are the same and you can use a disposable paper palette to cut down on cleanup and the same canvases.  So the transition should not be too hard.   Hope this helps, Stu.

Comment by Cheryl Lipham on May 19, 2012 at 2:24

Oh goodness!  That's great to know.  You are an encyclopedia of painting knowledge! I know it's personal preference, but what oil painting brand(s) do you use?

Comment by Rita Long on May 19, 2012 at 2:22

i - I am going to try oils and this info is very helpful.

Really scared to try, but I love to learn.  Stuart, by underpainting do you mean

a sort of "base" with thin acrylics and then finishing with oils?


Comment by Stuart J. Gourlay on May 19, 2012 at 1:34

Cheryl, you can underpaint in acrylics; a lot of artists do--just keep it thin and loose.  So that's a quick way to get into oils and use up the acrylics!  Thanks for your compliments on my work.  You will love oils.  Stu


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