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Oil painting

Number 28

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I always used to paint with acrylics because I tend to be very detail orientated, and oils are better suited to more relaxed methods I think. Regardless, I had a crack and I found them fantastic for getting more varied shades and hence more realistic results thanks to the ease at which you can mix the colours. It's when you come to the fine details they can be a bit of a nightmare if the paint hasn't dried. I just finished painting the picture below as a xmas present for a friend (girl on the right), and I was feeling the crunch when I wanted to apply detail and it wasn't drying... oils can take up to 6 months to dry properly. :wub:

Mik&Bianca, 12/07


So, does anyone else dabble in this sort of thing? I'm sure there was an impressive painter on here that did whole bodies. Share some tips if you will!

Liz, 04/08


Tomisaburo Wakayama, 07/08


Emma, 09/08


Annika, 10/08


Kitano, 06/09


Bowie, 11/09


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She's going to love that, it's terrific.

I'm the same in that I've always loved acrylic for it's illustrative qualities but then, when you look at old masters, they could just about do anything with oil. I guess one just has to use them and use them and use them and get the feel.

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Thanks. :(

Well, at the end of the day, the only real difference (that I, with my limited experience noticed) is that the paint takes waaay longer to dry. On the plus side this allows you to blend colours on the canvas as you go, you can go away and come back and the paint you mixed on the pallete is still wet, and you can get away with not cleaning your brushes so often as they remain wet. You can paint very much the same as you do with acrylic, it's just a case of needing longer periods to allow it to dry. I was plonking it on the radiator to help it along near the end.

To be honest there was quite a few times when I thought, "Why didn't I just use acrylic??" :wub:

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I dunno if you've got any experience with them, but i'd say get yourself some sansodor. It's a low-odour solvent for thinning the paint and washing your brushes. For ages I was using white spirit/terps, and it fucking STINKS. Sleeping in the same room as that pong probably wasn't good for me. The only trouble with sansodor is it's quite expensive - I bought a 500ml bottle for £10. Saying that, I managed to put most of what I used back in the bottle using a funnel and some filter paper. You can separate it from the paint see.

Um, my workflow went like this -

  1. Obviously I copied a photo of mine, and I sketched it onto the canvas using the good ol' grid method
  2. Then I went over the pencil sketch with brown ink - this allows you to still see the lines after you've applied the base coat. Pencil is mostly washed away by the paint
  3. For the aforementioned base coat, I mixed an average shade of skin colour, then applied that with a huge brush to the entire canvas
  4. Then I just slowly built up the detail, using a large brush and beginning with the largest areas first (skin), until finally I was painting in single hairs
  5. Stick it on a radiator :wub:

I'd say always fill in big areas of colour as soon as you can so they have a good length of time to dry. Also, there's a saying - Fat on Lean. Basically fat means thick paint, and lean means thin paint. Try to avoid painting thinned out paint on top of thick paint, because thick paint has a tendency to crack, which might ruin whatever you paint on top of it. I kept most the paint very thin though, so I can't see this being a problem.

If I think of anything else i'll add it, but i'm a relative n00b myself.

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I guess they don't sell my set of oils anymore as I can't find it. It was basically a cheapo starter set of Daler Rowney 75ml georgian oil tubes, and came with thinner (which got used up in 5 minutes). There are only 8 colours, but I can't imagine needing any more. You can basically mix any colour from them quite easily. You can get really expensive tubes of oil paint, but I think a good bunch of brushes is probably money better spent.

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Sorry, but can you explain this step in a little more depth?

Sure. I basically went over the pencil lines quickly with a small brush with some brown ink (an old pot of 'Skaven Brown' from the Games Workshop actually :P) Once the ink was dried I used a putty rubber to get rid of the original pencil lines, as well as the grid.

Here it is with just the brown ink - excuse the awful webcam quality


Then, if you mix a base coat, and go over the whole canvas, you can still see the ink lines faintly through the paint. If you leave any pencil lines on there, the lead tends to get washed into the paint, turning it a dirty colour.

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