Oil painting classes continued last weekend. I made a bargain with myself, three exercise sessions and I get an art class. Then made the mistake of telling people about this bargain. Its a good incentive. Many experts recommend trying something for three months…if you can keep up a new habit for three months, then it might become a permanent lifestyle change. And I want to be healthy. And I want to learn to paint with oils.
Why oil painting? Several reasons. I love the way oil paintings look and the fact you have time to work on the picture. Acrylic paints dry very fast. But they are cheap compared to Oils which is why most people use them. I got lucky and was given all my oil paints. Years ago, my mother in law bought an entire kit — brushes, paints, books, canvas’s, and other accessories as a present from an estate sale. I have used everything except the oil paints. Those scared me, they seem so complex. But then last December, I went to an art demo at my sort-of-local good art store, Blick, in San Diego. And I won the drawing for new high quality artist oil paints. And when I learned about drop in art lessons at my local art gallery, Art Beat on Main Street, it seemed a good time to learn.
Which leads to lesson number 2 where I continued studying chiaroscuro — using only one color and creating tones with quantity of paint. My teacher, Maggie Chiaro, says this is a good way to begin understanding how to use oils effectively. And if I create a good underdrawing with a single tone, then I can paint in layers on top of this, adding color later. Yesterday I did a still life, two vases and an apple. Since the drawing looked unbalanced, I also added in the light source.
Here’s the classroom and my set up. Also including the original still life, not quite from the same angle as the painting.
And here are two versions of the picture. First was after class. Second was after I went home and worked more on the picture. The second picture does have better shading. But there are some details that suffered such as the shape of the pitcher and the lighting on the left hand side of the vase. Also I need some help getting the total ambient lighting correct. It should be dark behind the lamp with light coming down onto the still life. Guess more practice is needed.