Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dipping Into Oil . . .

In the spring I had the great opportunity to take an oil painting class with an artist in her studio. There were only 3 of us and it was just 5 sessions. I met her through a friend and was curious about what it would be like to paint with oil. I had only been painting since February in acrylic so I really had no idea what I was doing and some days still don't!

This painting is a work in progress that I did in that class. It is at her studio still and hopefully I will get to finish it sometime in the future. As you can see it is a still life. Not my favorite thing to paint as you all know.

I have to say that using the oil paint was harder than I thought. I had a hard time blending it because it is so very wet and blendable! I don't know if I would have the patience for the long drying time. The complete opposite of acrylic. I kept muddying it all up. But the colors are so much richer than acrylic and the look of oil on canvas is so very different. I did not like having to use the turp. I paint in my house and I think that would just be too hard having to use something toxic like that.

There definitely pros and cons to both but if I ever did want to try it again I would explore using water based oil. As for right now I am having fun with acrylic and mixed media for sure!

And of course there is sketching! Stay tuned . . . I will be posting my sketch for this weeks challenge with Kelly tomorrow! She inspired this post today. Check out her vlog where she chats all about what she is doing to progress herself as an artist and a few of the resources she is using along her journey! Click here!


  1. I always used a synthetic turpentine, as I am dreadfully allergic to the real deal. Never had any issues.
    I miss the richness of oils; there are things they do that can be closely captured in acrylic, but not quite. I think it is an inner-glow type thing, maybe from the paint ingredients themselves.
    Frankly, I think you have a great start to the painting and hope you finish it. Very nice use of complimentary colors---good composition!


  2. Cathy! Wow...THis my favorite piece now...AMAZING!! I love it...this is beautiful and elegant and very inspiring. Shine on!
    I Love oils too..but cannot work with them..too powerful/strong for my breathing. But I must say..oils are sooo beautiful...and yes challenging for sure..but very rewarding too. Thans for sharinmg this amazing piece! Stunnning!

  3. This is looking beautiful now, Cathy. I love the little bit of light hitting the front & the colors are wonderful!

  4. I don't know the technical complexities of oil versus acrylic...or water color paint, for that matter, but again, I know what I like to look at. I do love the look of the rich color and texture of oil paintings, but I am almost as attracted to sketches with feeling! So, it's a case by case...You do what YOU love! That's what I do with my fiber work. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you'll LOVE to do it! I KNOW!!!

  5. Hi Cathy, I found your post so interesting! I've have a box of oil colours in my desk for about a year now and have never had the guts to open them. For the same reasons you were explaining in your post. I do love acrylics and they are so user friendly that oils tend to scare me, but I have to say those colours in your still life are so bright and rich they really are lovely! I think you've done a fantastic job on your still life and it gives me hope that I might have a go with my oils one day ;0)

  6. Hi Cathy. I love oils. It's been a while since last I painted with oils. Your still life is just full of life. The colors are rich and you can see the texture. I love what you've done with this. Have a great week. Now I want to go out and buy some oils. Tee hee.

  7. I have never tried oils either but your beautiful painting makes me want to give it a go! ♥

  8. Beautiful painting, Cathy! It's been so long since I dabbled with oil too. Your work in progress is just fabulous. I agree, I hope you get the chance to finish it and show us all. Thanks so much for your super sweet visit! So glad that I'm not the only one who feels that way about hot weather. Keep cool and keep creating! :)

  9. Your use of colour is amazing. I love how you get lots of light in there, too. Seriously great picture!