Thanks, perhaps, to the smaller size of the piece, I finished the third painting in my twelve painting challenge late last week; a good deal earlier than my self-imposed deadline of August thirty-first. I'm not entirely upset with the result.
When I first started the painting, I was less than thrilled with it, but as the painting progressed, I found I liked it more and more. It isn't especially close in proportion to the drawing I did, but it has almost all of the elements, and I even threw in a thing or two that the drawing does not possess.
The end result:
It honestly doesn't look like how I imagined it in my head, but it does look and feel very much like me, if that makes any sense. I'm struggling to try and describe it. It certainly isn't perfect, but I'm not disappointed in it, either.
This time painting was very different from the other oil painting I finished. Perhaps because I used less thinner (though I cannot be sure that I did, in fact, use less thinner), but this painting has taken a great deal more time to dry than African Violet did. I completed it three full days ago, as of the writing of this blog post, and it's still not even close to dry. I have forgotten this fact while handling it. Thankfully, it's suffered no real damage. If anyone decides to buy the original, it's going to be very tricky to ship.
I'm finding that I enjoy painting with oils more and more. I'm particularly enjoying being able to blend on the canvas itself, which was difficult in acrylic as it tended to dry far too quickly. This was particularly useful for lightening the leaves around the flowers, making it seem like the flowers are glowing a bit. I'm not sure that I got the glowing effect right, but I'm not despondent about the result, either.
Having read a little bit about glazing, I used a blue glaze to desaturate some of the leaves, and to cast better shadows on my nectar drake. For this, I made damned sure the paint was dry enough, as there is a real danger of the glaze mixing instead of coating (glaze, I've learnt, is a paint mixed with a lot of thinner used to highlight or desaturate certain parts of a painting).
The part of the painting that gave me the most trouble, oddly, was the moon. I tried on four separate occasions to get the moon to look a little more like an actual moon instead of a simple bright circle. As with the glowing effect, I bounce between feeling I came close to totally denouncing the effort. It was my impatience that did me in, I think. every attempt save the last did nothing but to muddle the paints together, and I had to wait for the painting to be a little dryer before my final attempt. That helped a lot.
Patience, it seems, was the theme of this painting, and a skill I am yet to properly learn. Still, I'm quite pleased by the final result. It's not exactly how I imagined it. It's not by any means perfect, but it is very, well, me.
Since completing the painting, I have spent far too much money on more canvases and brushes in preparation of my next painting. I have six planned oils, and two planned acrylics. The acrylics are, of course, for when the weather gets too cold for me to paint with oils. My mother also suggested I try watercolour painting for those cold months. I'm considering it.
Perhaps I shall.
Roughly a fortnight ago, being the last of week of July, I was spurred to action in the painting department. I had, before starting this site, set myself a challenge to complete a painting a month. In June I completed Stormbringer; a large painting of a dragon, which I'm donating.
This month, I decided that I ought to tackle one of my greatest painting fears - oil paint.
Oil paint has always terrified me. Despite taking art class all throughout my high school career, I never once touched oil paint. I found it terribly thick and difficult to work with. I thought that I would not be able to contend with the medium ever.
Earlier this year, I was determined to face this negative impression of my ability and took it up on myself to learn how to paint with oils. To that end, I acquired a membership to skillshare.com, and began my first ever painting course in oils. The end goal was a geometric abstract piece.
To be quite honest, I'd rather forgotten about the painting, concentrating as I was on my leather pieces, until last week. So, on Tuesday, I sat down and completed the skillshare lesson. Part of that lesson was to sketch in a series of thumbnails, each of overlapping squares, rectangles and circles, creating geometric designs.
Abstract is not my style, but I did give it a good go. Of course, because I cannot help but to be representative, even when I'm trying to be abstract, my eye and imagination gravitated towards the one design that I had drawn an unlabelled Venn Diagram in the centre. And, with my mind being what it is, I couldn't have the diagram be nothing, so I turned it into an abstract flower was I painted.
The end result is not terrible.
Out of the tube, the paint was indeed thick and unworkable. I had to apply paint thinner, which did make the paint more workable, but it also made it dry quite quickly. Indeed, there didn't feel all that much different working in oils than it did acrylics, given how quickly the paint dried when mixed with the thinner.
Granted, the paint might have been difficult, or dried so quickly, because the paints themselves were not especially expensive, given that they were oil paints. I am not experienced enough with oils to tell if that's indeed the case. Should I earn anything from my art, I will try and invest in different oils to compare. For now, however, these will have to do.
For my next painting, I have to take a trip to my local Wallack's to pick up some long canvases. There is another canvas in the house I can use, and I have an idea what I intend to paint with it, so perhaps I'll do that painting instead of the one for which I've already done a sketch for.
It will also be an oil painting. I'm no longer quite so terrified of the medium as I once was.