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Oil painting


Number 28
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So, mind if I ask - how is working in oils different to working in acrylics? I've gotten to like Acrylics, but I have no way of mixing the sheer number of tones and shades as smoothly as on these paintings.

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So, mind if I ask - how is working in oils different to working in acrylics? I've gotten to like Acrylics, but I have no way of mixing the sheer number of tones and shades as smoothly as on these paintings.

Thing is, acrylics begin to dry almost as soon as you put them down, whilst oils stay wet on the canvas for a good while, which makes it easy to stir about and mix on the canvas. Also, all the colours you see on the canvas are mixed from only 6 primitive shades. Mixing all the colours from scratch makes for a large diversity because you're never going to mix exactly the same shade twice. With acrylics I would always put down a base, then use a glaze on top, but that doesn't always look great.

Btw, ask anything, I don't mind. :wub:

I have various DVD's starring that great man! although I had to google his name to get the correct spelling and his first name :lol:.

Yup, it took me a while to memorise his name... bit awkward innit.

Damn, 28. DAMN!

How many hours spent so far?

Oh gawd, I dunno... just a couple hours here and there over the last month. I don't keep count. :(

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I have just read this thread in amazement. You guys are seriously talented. I have never turned my hand to drawing or painting primarily because I seemed to be rubbish at it during my school years however you are making me want to pick up a canvas and give it a go. I don't think its going to happen mind you. I firmly believe that photography is the only creative outlet I have any ability in and even that is very early days. As a total novice do you think its worth giving painting a go? And if so what would be the method and style you would suggest to give the best visual results with the least ammount of artistic skill? I am thinking abstract here! I have literally 0 drawing ability so I would say any degree of realism would be impossible.

On a side note as well 28 and LDA would you be interested in taking commissions? I might have a few subjects that your particular talents might fit.

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As a total novice do you think its worth giving painting a go?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

I honestly think that the feeling of standing in front of a blank canvas, brushes in one hand, palette in another, with nothing but your coordination standing between an image in your head and something which externalises your thoughts on canvas, is one of those things EVERYONE must feel before they die. Those first strokes as you mix the base coat, then slash the brush across the page, feeling the bristles of the brush and the texture of the paint coat the canvas is one of the greatest feelings I've ever had. Then, because I work with acrylics, it's doubly so because for every stroke of the brush I get bright, vibrant swathes of colour. It's like putting footprints in fresh snow.

Remember, Michelangelo painted the Cistine Chapel; he just went in with a blank surface, brush and paints, and left something (essentially) immortal. Just a bloke with some paint. Yeah, ok, he was a master and you're just a beginner, but he had nothing physically that you don't have. He may have had talent, but my life experience so far has taught me that talent can get you started, but effort is the great leveller. You put in enough effort, you never know what you can achieve - especially in art.

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You should be like a motivational speaker or something! So if I were to give it a go what would be the easiest starting point? Oil? Pastel? Watercolour? Acrylics? Body Fluids? And is there a very simple guide to the basic technicalities of that particular style? How best to do a base coat for example?

I mean I am guessing if you choose oils for example that you have to first paint the canvas a single colour for your background as a base coat. If I was painting a person standing against the background of a sky and a field for example how would I layer it? Would I do a base coat first of light paint? Followed by painting the whole background and then the person on top or would you do the base first and then the person and then the background. Sounds obvious I expect but I really have no idea.

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Oh man, Asura, that's made even me want to start a new painting. All totally true. The reason I never really got on with watercolour is because you don't get that instant solid colour you get with acrylics and oils. Wishy washy crap. Of course there's a lot of decent watercolour stuff out there, but meh, I just don't like it. It's like trying to get a decent finish with wax crayons or something...a ballache. Anyway, I digress.

Give it a go Yiggy! [/Neil Buchannon] Pop your results up here too, i'd be interested to see how you progress. Someone else might suggest otherwise, but personally I would recommend acrylics. You get the solid colours you get with oils, but they're water based, so you don't need expensive thinners to clean your brushes (or whatever you happen to accidentally get the stuff on :lol:) They dry fast too, so you can be moving onto the next part without the tedium of waiting.

How you lay down the paint is just common sense really. Obviously you don't want to paint intricate strands of hair, for example, and THEN try to fill in the background around it. You'd put down the background first, then paint the hair over the top. But generally you would work from the background to the foreground, and put down large areas of shade before the small details. It just becomes instinctive after a while. I don't tend to even think about it. It's not something you should worry too much about anyway, as the great thing with acrylics and oils is, you can always correct mistakes. Just layer paint on top of paint until you've got what you want. See, with watercolour, you don't tend to get a second chance, hence my dislike. :(

Anyway, i'd certainly be interested in commissions. What do you have in mind?

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Thanks guys. I think I am genuinly gonna give it a go. Just a few more questions.

Would something like this be a good starter set to get me going?

http://www.greatart.co.uk/DALER-ROWNEYSYST...-paint-sets.htm

Would I be better off starting with brushes or something like a palet knife? I am guessing brushes? And if so is there a difference in the quality? Same goes for canvas. Would the reccomendation be to start 'small'?

Regarding Comissions - I just love both of your works. I am a bit skint at the moment but I was looking for a couple of pieces of artwork for my house and I cant think of anything better than being able to give an idea of what I wanted rather than just buying something off the shelf. Like I say though I am a bit skint but let me have a think about it and see if I can come up with some thoughts of what I might want.

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That looks like a reasonable price for those paints, although i've never used System3, so you might want someone else's opinion on them. It does seems to be the main brand of acrylics though, I can't actually remember seeing any other brands in art shops.

I've never used a palet knife myself, but I think it's more of an oil paint thing, for applying the paint in thick swathes (LDA style :lol:). I'd go with brushes anyway, to begin. Palet knives seem more 'hardcore' in my eyes, but saying that, if you want 'abstract', then it might be worth a crack...I dunno.

I would probably start on paper (that pad you get free) to begin...get a feel for how the paint handles, moving it about, how long it takes to dry, mixing it, thinning it down, what you can get away with, the limitations - some colours might need two coats for example, others you might be able to water down considerably.

Re: commissions: No worries, just post in here, or pm if you want to run an idea past me. :(

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Oh yeah, about your background query. If I was painting a sky, i'd not bother covering the entire canvas in blue, only the areas of sky. For Tomisaburo, I just painted blue up to his head (see early photos). It'd be wasting paint otherwise, and it might be tricky to cover all the blue. :(

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I say go for it too Yiggy, and I think the fact you're already using a camera will help a lot too with composition skills and if you're anything like me, painting from photos exclusively, it never hurts to have a photo that isn't a blurry mess :lol:

The only thing that hampers you as a beginner is the problem you've already come across, what medium, canvas/paper? Brush/knives/fingers? I started out using acrylics and I guess most people do too, my major problem with them is that they dry far too quickly for me and tend to end up very flat on the canvas. Oils on the other hand take far too long to dry for most people and also they can be an absolute bugger to clean if you spill them on good clothes or anything. Watercolours are by far my most hated medium, far too fidgetty and if you get your mix of water to paint wrong you could end up with a murky puddle on a page. I think the fun of painting is finding your own style, I'm hugely envious of people like no.28 who can paint photorealistically but at the same time, slapping a load of paint on a canvas and sort of sculpting it into whatever you like is massive fun too.

You also asked about methods of painting, again I think half the fun is just experimenting and seeing what comes out of it. The way most people would do it is as no 28 said, background to foreground but if that doesn't work for you don't be scared of trying other things. I pretty much only do portraits and for years I painted from the nose of the person outwards, I'm only coming to the background up way of thinking in recent times. Also, don't let "artistic ability" get in your way, some of my favourite artists paint pictures that "my kid could paint"

One other thing, painting with acrylics on paper is fine but be careful not to have too much drying at once or your paper might wrinkle up, same goes for water colours, and if you're painting with oils make sure the canvas is primed before putting oils on it, priming it prevents it rotting in years to come and most store bought canvases are already pre-primed.

PS. I'll also gladly take commissions, never miss a chance! :lol:

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Cheers LDA. I am gonna pick up some acrylics a pad to play around on, a pallet and a few brushes tomorrow. Might pick up a canvas as well, hopefully a pre-primed one.

Do I need an easel as well or is it okay just to prop it up against something when I move to canvas? I am guessing an easel is better but dont think I could afford one as well this month.

I am definiaty going to start with the abstract side of things I think. Already have a few ideas and if I think any of it is worthy I will post it up here at some point.

With acrylics would you usually mix colours on the pallet or on the canvas?

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On the pallet! It's only really oils you can mix up on the canvas, acrylics dry way too fast.

I dont' think i've ever seen a non-primed canvas, so it shouldn't be that hard to find what you want. They seem dirt cheap these days as well, which is always nice.

I wouldn't worry too much about an easel at first if you're working small - i'd just work on a table. Thankfully they're not very expensive these days either. Mine was about £15 at artdiscount.co.uk (unless you're really tight for cash, in which case i'm sorry. :lol:)

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Just to say, if you're starting out painting from scratch, I actually wouldn't recommend acrylics. They're a great medium, but like oils, they are quite expensive.

Watercolours are cheaper - not for pro quality ones, but you can get cheap ones which will tide you over for your first few attempts. I just think going with acrylics is tantamount to wanting to learn to play guitar, so going out and buying a 500 quid Fender Strat.

If I was to be totally honest, I would forego paints. My best advice would be for you to go to your local art store, and pick up:

Sketchbook with thick paper

Set of graphite pencils, varying darkness and hardness

Artist's sharpener (with seperate colour/graphite holes)

Kneaded eraser, buy three

However, most importantly:

A set of blendable colour pencils - a GOOD set. Ideally Prismacolor.

Some solvent; Meltz solution works well, you can also get it in pens.

I think this'd be a good route, as it's a much smaller outlay and a lot less messy than paint, and working with those pencils would allow you to grasp the basics of use of colour very quickly. Check out some tutorials about colour theory and work from that. You can produce really good results with a good set of coloured pencils.

Probably won't quite inspire you, but here's one of my older ones:

http://torador.deviantart.com/art/Land-Rovers-78553163

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I'm sorry, but I totally disagree. If the dude wants to paint, let him paint. He's not going to get good at painting doing something else is he? I'm terrible with pencils, and sketching in general because I don't often do it. In the same way, I imagine if I had specialised in coloured pencils all these years, i'd be shite at painting. The basic skill of holding something and drawing lines is transferrable I guess, but there's a lot more to it than that, and you'll only learn by getting on with it. Watercolours are liable to put him off for life too!

And I fail to see how all that gear you mention is a smaller outlay, too. The acrylics he's looking at are £12.50, and you get a free pad with that. Add two or three brushes to the bill and he's away. You don't even need a pallette. I always used to use an old plate.

And as for oils, my set cost me about £20, and after four paintings, i've still barely used any of them bar the white. I can see them lasting me upwards of two years, unless I suddenly decide to go in LDA's direction, of course. The most expensive outlay is probably the brushes, but only the very large ones are expensive, and if he's starting small, they're unnecessary.

I just think going with acrylics is tantamount to wanting to learn to play guitar, so going out and buying a 500 quid Fender Strat.

And for the record, there's fuck all wrong with that if you've got the money. :lol:

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Just to say, if you're starting out painting from scratch, I actually wouldn't recommend acrylics. They're a great medium, but like oils, they are quite expensive.

Watercolours are cheaper - not for pro quality ones, but you can get cheap ones which will tide you over for your first few attempts. I just think going with acrylics is tantamount to wanting to learn to play guitar, so going out and buying a 500 quid Fender Strat.

If I was to be totally honest, I would forego paints. My best advice would be for you to go to your local art store, and pick up:

Sketchbook with thick paper

Set of graphite pencils, varying darkness and hardness

Artist's sharpener (with seperate colour/graphite holes)

Kneaded eraser, buy three

However, most importantly:

A set of blendable colour pencils - a GOOD set. Ideally Prismacolor.

Some solvent; Meltz solution works well, you can also get it in pens.

I think this'd be a good route, as it's a much smaller outlay and a lot less messy than paint, and working with those pencils would allow you to grasp the basics of use of colour very quickly. Check out some tutorials about colour theory and work from that. You can produce really good results with a good set of coloured pencils.

Probably won't quite inspire you, but here's one of my older ones:

http://torador.deviantart.com/art/Land-Rovers-78553163

Just as a counter point to this, I only started painting at the tail end of last year and I started with acrylics - they are relatively expensive compared to watercolour but you're only talking an extra tenner outlay to get started. I started with student grade tubes of just red, yellow, blue, white and black (I hardly ever use the black), mix colours as and when I need them from the 3 primaries and I painted on card I got from a hobby store with any old brushes I could find, anything cheap. You can do 3-4 roughly A4 sized paintings or one, two at a push, medium sized paintings with your first set of tubes.

I'd tried (and failed) to get the hang of water colour in the past (I'm making a bit of progress now though). I think what makes acrylics so great for the beginner is what you mix on the palette is what you get on the canvas (or hobby shop card...), you don't have to layer tones or use washes if you don't want to - they feel very "literal" for want of a better word. You lay down the colour as you want it and that's what you're left with.

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Cheers LDA. I am gonna pick up some acrylics a pad to play around on, a pallet and a few brushes tomorrow. Might pick up a canvas as well, hopefully a pre-primed one.

You can also get pads of canvas which might be worth looking at too.

Do I need an easel as well or is it okay just to prop it up against something when I move to canvas? I am guessing an easel is better but dont think I could afford one as well this month.

I just banged a couple of nails in a wall in the shed to hang the canvases on, nothing wrong with a bit of cheap and cheerful DIY.

I am definiaty going to start with the abstract side of things I think. Already have a few ideas and if I think any of it is worthy I will post it up here at some point.

With acrylics would you usually mix colours on the pallet or on the canvas?

Good luck, hope it all goes well. I'm absolutely useless at abstracts so it'll be good to see what you come up with.

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I think at some point in the future I'm going to need to try oils, looking at that. With acrylics, being unable to mix on the canvas due to drying, I end up doing a lot of my shading by drybrushing. It looks good, but I could never get the kind of effect in the above image.

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You should be like a motivational speaker or something!
Oh man, Asura, that's made even me want to start a new painting. All totally true.

Thanks; I really mean it too. 6 months ago I'd never touched paint since 2nd year at infant school; I'm really happy I plucked up the courage to give it a go. I've only painted about 5 small canvases, but I'm really enjoying it so far. Here's my latest, though not such a good picture of it:

rose1xg8.jpg

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I've been experimenting with a new approach inspired by Karel Appel and Martin Kippenberger, reasonably happy with it but it's very hard to make out what's what as the colours are all blending into each other too much with too little contrast and Lynch looks like he's trapped rather than excited as he was in the source image... Going to try again with different colours

2668760541_3a0c4693d6.jpg

2669579960_ef6c737c63.jpg

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Interesting stuff. How do you come up with the idea? Did you paint on a black piece of wood there? I'm wondering if I should attempt something a bit more abstract, just to take a breather from my self-imposed regime of obsessive detail. I can imagine the nightmare if something like that fell on the carpet though... :P

I've pretty much wrapped up Tomisaburo btw. Will probably need to go over it tomorrow in better light, but I should be able to post final pics. :(

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It's on a canvas, I painted a black border of types around the edge, slapped on a thick load of white in the middle and then used a palette knife to put more thick maroon and red on top of that. Then for the line drawing of Lynch himself, I just put a load of black on a brush and sort of cut into the paint already on the canvas with it if that makes sense.

I can't find any of the Karel Appel pieces I took inspiration from online, this one is probably closest

2516211390_ca8a8b2ce1.jpg

Same with Kippenberger, can't find the ones I was directly inspired by but here's a similar one

davis3-10-3s.jpg

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davis3-10-3s.jpg

Not sure about the first one, but this I like. No idea how you'd go about doing something like that, so respect.

Disciple...Liz is...um...no longer an acquaintance i'm afraid. She's also from a foreign country. There are no pretty girls in Derby. You have to outsource the talent.

wakayama.jpg

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