Whew! I have finished the 5 paintings – 8″ x 10″ oils – for the $120 reward category. They are now waiting to dry. That will take at least a couple of weeks for the oil paint to be dry to touch. Then I’ll put on a protective varnish. Then another week or so for that to dry….
Technically oil paintings are considered still wet for up to 6 months, depending on how thick the paint is put on the canvas. These are painted thin to medium thickness of paints. So when I mail them out I will package them up very very carefully and cross my fingers no elephants sit on them at the post office.
Twisted Juniper 8″ x 10″ oil painting
South Platte Ranch 8″ x 10″ oil painting
Ute Trail Hoo Doos 8″ x 10″ oil painting
Cliff & Pink Adobe 8″ x 10″ oil painting
Escalante Rim Ride 8″ x 10″ oil painting
When I start a oil painting, I usually have a pretty good idea of the subject. I paint from something I am looking at outdoors or a photo of a place I have been or a combo – start a painting outdoors, photograph the scene and then finish the painting in the studio.
Here are the usual steps I take in creating a painting:
- Great Idea!
- Sketch it (plein air/real life or photo for inspiration and “checking”) until the composition and value and interest are just so.
- Sketch it on the canvas with soft pencil or charcoal
- Value painting with acrylic paints (I usually mix up all the leftover paint on my palette from a past piece and save that in an airtight container just for the purpose of value paintings).
- Progress to the painting, usually like this – sky, furthest to closest objects, detail work.
- Let it sit a day or two, photographing it and reversing the image on the computer to see how it ‘works’
- Fix anything that drives me crazy. And try not to overwork the painting.
- Let it dry while looking at it for a few weeks or so.
- Varnish the finished painting.
Here is one in progress now. Its of a twisted juniper tree that my friend took images of.
#1 One of the preliminarily sketches of the twisted juniper tree.
#2 Sketch on the canvas of the twisted juniper tree. Note how it has been revised from the sketch, the far away hills are lowered.
#3 Value under painting of the twisted juniper tree. It always looks so dramatic to me, sometimes I want to stop right at this step. The sky is in reverse value, I just like it like that most of the time.
#4 Beginning the painting of the twisted juniper: The sky and far hills are in. Some work on the mid ground is progressing.
I’ve been painting the bigger canvases of the $120 rewards over the last couple weeks. Its been going slower than the smaller paintings but that is to be expected. My mindset with each painting, even the little watercolors, is to create the “Masterpiece” that I will be known by. In other words, I do the best job I know how on each one. No fast-dash paintings nor that same attitude.
All these paintings and the time constraint is really making me disciplined! Its great.
Here is a shot of a couple of the finished 8″ x 10″ oil paintings. They are waiting a couple weeks before they get varnished.
A couple of the $120 Reward paintings from Kickstarter