Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Playing With Oils

I have hardly touched oils in many years, for a variety of reasons. Mostly, for the past few years I have been concerned about solvents, as my studio space is both small and poorly ventilated. A year ago I picked up some M. Graham oils, because the walnut oil base can be cleaned up with soap and water, I thought perhaps a big plus. There were some challenges, from both the aspect of re-aquainting myself with the medium and the the particular feel of these specific paints. But I have managed a few successes, I think, such as "From the Channel." (16 x 20)
Recently I picked up a few water-mixable colours, because I am a bit intrigued, and I wondered about using WMO mediums with standard oils. So I did a sketch, using some elderly paints from my student years and a couple of really cheap bristle brushes that I had received as a gag gift. I used a simple triad palette of Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Rose, Yellow Ochre and Zinc White, with Winsor & Neweton's Artisan Fast Drying Medium and Artisan Safflower oil. I gave an 8 x 10 panel a thin imprimatura with a bit of Fast Drying Medium and a mixture of Rose and Ochre, and let it dry for about an hour. The initial drawing was executed with FDM and a dark dull purple, then all the overpainting was done without any more medium. This is a quick sketch, about an hour. I washed the brushes out in the Safflower oil and then again with mild soap and water, and the brushes cleaned up like a dream. And I got a reasonable sketch out of the experiment.