Oil painting

In two weeks I’ll start attending a course on oil painting (tutored by Malgorzata Kosek). It will be fantastic to give this a try.

Because of the nature of watercolour paint, it has been difficult for me to handle. Colours are not what I expect, and ugly water blotches conspire to spoil the image. My watercolour works so far are well short of reasonable. Understandably, I require a lot more practice to become better able to control the paint to achieve what I want.

Charcoal and pastel however have been far easier for me. The results I achieve are close to what I intend, and the pastels give me lovely textures for free. My failings are more to do with composition, perspective, etc.

Oil painting will be different yet again. I’m not sure what to expect. It’ll be the first time that I’ll be able to correct mistakes by simply painting over again. But how good will my colour control be? Will I miss the delicate colour gradients that watercolour sometimes gives me? Will I be able to have the crisp edges that pastels offer? Will I enjoy the bold colours achievable with oil paints?

Another aspect I’m looking forward to is seeing how it affects my perception of works of art. Experience of painting with watercolour has altered how I perceive others’ watercolours. I now consider how the artist produced the paintings: which parts I could attempt to reproduce with the techniques I have learnt so far, and which parts I have no idea how to achieve. I expect that with some exposure to the techniques of oil painting, I will gain a similar appreciation of others’ oil paintings.

Considering all of this, I think it is a great time to try out oil painting. I could have waited until I was more proficient with watercolour and pastels, but I don’t see any downside of having a go now.

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