Oils, oils, oils!

Oh how my life has changed this last year, moved to a new city and found a new focus. After running into the same frustrations I have had with acrylics, (ie drying to fast and lack of richness) I decided to take the knowledge I’ve obtained while working at University Art and try the starter set of oils I had couped up in the closet. Simple Winsor &Newton student set, not the best quality but I figured since I am in a new city why not try a new medium. All of a sudden I felt like a duck to water for the first time. Little pieces of tips I learned from my encounters with other oil painters and just being around it everyday came rushing out of the tip of my paintbrush. With my first attempt I figured I would go big or go home, so I half heartedly stretched my own 30×40 and started playing around and came up with this after going through some old references..

I can remember a time when I was first learning how to paint in general and had all types of paint. I dabbled with oils and became so frustrated with the initial encounter and turned away from oils and never looked back, until my move to Pacific NW. I’ve had art encounters where people have told me I should try out oils and I crudly would say ” I cant stand oils!” and would spend the next 20 min breaking down why it sucks. But honestly, what did i know? I had only been painting for a short while before I had my first art critique. Who would have thought ten years later I would dedicate my life to becoming a great oil based artist. Call it evolution, but i see it as a revalation. It feels good having a dedicated focus now. Being a jack of all trades when it comes to art is nice, but mastering a medium is what I’m truly after. Honestly, if someone would have gave me some Gamsol and Liquin with my initial experience, who knows where I would be at today. I do feel learning the principles of water based meduims such as acrylics and watercolor has helped me understand the basic princples of oils on my second experience. I always could explain the difference between oils and acrylics but after experiencing my own success’ I have learned so much more.

The one thing I tell people now, who ask me what is the big diifference between water based paints and oils is, is you build and mold with oils paints. Since your working in reverse principles (dark to light in oils rather light to dark with water based paints) oils lets you build on top of your bottom layer way easier than trying to always glaze in acrylics. For me oils fit my life better as an artist. With so many distractions and adult responsibilities, I like being able to walk away from my palette and painting for a few hrs or even days and be able to come back to a piece i can still manipulate.

I’ve only just begun with oils and have already begun a decent body of work. I look forward to dropping more tid bits with my experiences. Their is so much to learn and can’t wait to share. Stay tuned.
 “Return of the King” 8×10

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