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New to oils but not painting

I just started making friends with oils :slight_smile: I have 35 years of sculpting experience, then 6 years of pastel experience, and a sprinkling of acrylic :slight_smile: I’m not a DPW member but I did win a free month many years ago :slight_smile: I have always enjoyed this site and how well it is designed, and after reading here that WetCanvas is shutting down I thought posting here would be a better idea. I have been doing pastel lessons with Marla Bagetta for awhile, and also her acrylics courses and now her beginners oil course. I also recently purchased Carol’s Daily Painting book :slight_smile: I have done 6 small studies on gessoed pastel paper, here are my favs so far:



I am starting to get a feel for it, but I have a ton to learn! I think I will do some Edgar Payne master copies next. Any and all comments most welcome :slight_smile:

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These look great!
I was in a similar boat about a year ago when I picked up oil paints. I had painting experience but it was all digital so the difference was quite dramatic.

How are you finding oil paints so far? It looks like you’ve made the transition really well.

I’ve been on DPW for maybe a month and a half, and it’s been a thoroughly positive experience. I fully recommend it.

I am finding them interesting, different, frustrating :slight_smile: I felt the same when learning acrylic last year :slight_smile: I enjoy learning new mediums though, and they are all wonderful with their individual pros and cons. I am primarily a pastellist. I have perused DPW since 2012, but I have a FASO website and am not prepared to also have a gallery here. I do buy Art Bytes, and sometimes enter the contest though :slight_smile:

Right now my issue with oils is figuring out the thin to thick layering of them. I know it will take practice to develop a feel for that. I just did a Payne master study, a d plan to do more of those and more small studies on gessoed paper before painting on a ‘real’ surface (my preference is gessoed hardboard, either homemade or Ampersand).

Hi Sarah Rose,
If you want to paint alla prima, then you do not need to worry about layers, as the painting is done in one session. The painting will dry as a complete layer. It’s my favourite method. Sketch in your composition and then straight into thick paint.

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But it seems like it does matter, because I need colors to stick on top of other colors, esp at the end? Thank you though! I know I am in the awkward phase right now :slight_smile: I’m using Gamsol sparingly, and Gamblin solvent free gel to get the paint to flow, then trying to keep my lights thickest at the end. I’m planning for my shapes but it seems like I still have the need to stick paint on top of paint. I haven’t experimented with linseed oil at all, yet.

Here is a small aspen painting that was quite tricky, and a Payne study:


Hi Sarah_Rose,
Just to say, there is enough oil in paints that medium is not required at all, if one desired. If anything the less medium the better. Monet or Van Gogh did not use mediums, the former often removed oil from his paints, whilst the latter frequently squeezed paints from a tube straight on to the canvas. Of course everyone to their own style and methods, and what works.

Thank you Joseph. It will take me awhile to figure out my ‘to each his own’ ha ha :slight_smile: It’s all overwhelming right now, but in a good way :slight_smile:

Some brands of oil paints “flow” better than others. Most that are fresh from the tube do not need any medium. If they sit on the palette for a couple of days, they start to oxidize, get stiff and shouldn’t be used.

Thank you! I have noticed some of mine are very stiff, like a brand new Gamblin dioxizine purple. Other paints are loose and oily.

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