I’ve been focused on trying to figure out how to use oil paint. Reading about it, watching videos. Intensely and narrowly focused on it. I’m working on 10 panels, experimenting with various aspects of how the paint reacts to mediums, palette knives and brushes. It’s been a dance between having fun and feeling frustrated because I don’t have control over the media yet.
Maybe control isn’t the best approach?
Putting work in progress up on this blog gives me an opportunity to step back and see what I’m doing. Last week I wrote about allowing myself to use brushes in addition to palette knives. I was so obsessed about figuring out the tools that I lost sight of the image.
I almost always paint bare trees. I’m more interested in the structure of the branches than leaves. I went to a familiar type of image thinking it would be easier than coming up with something new in addition to the new media.
I was so tightly focused on my battle with the tools that I stopped thinking about the image, and ended up with a bare tree in a lush sea of grass. It’s not that my work is ever representationally accurate, but this just seemed wrong.
This may be the best part of oil painting
I started by trying to darken the ground, but the whole thing just felt overworked. When I do that in watercolor, it goes in the trash. Here, I can just scrape it back and redo.
Here is the painting now. Not sure if it it finished yet, but that’s a topic for another post.