Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I have been going to an oil painting class one evening per week to watch a demonstration by Canadian oil painter, Robert E Wood. This is the first time I have actually seen an oil painter work... up till now I have been learning through reading books and watching a couple of dvd's. This has been a great experience - and I look forward to the next 4 weeks when I get to learn even more.

But... to watch is one thing, to DO is another. I decided that I really needed to try to put into practice some of the principles Robert has been teaching, so here goes....

The underpainting is done in acrylic paint - a very diluted combination of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber. Here I have established where my darkest darks will be, and the location of trees, bushes and grasses. The part I have left white is sky and water. Now comes the fun part of filling in with oil paint!

I have done 3 or 4 oil paintings in the past year, and every time, I have gotten a lot of paint all over me. Robert, on the other hand, does not wear gloves nor old clothing to paint, and he gets NO PIGMENT on him. It will be interesting to see if using his techniques means less paint on me and more on the canvas!

I am looking forward to tackling the canvas, so back to it I go. Now that I see the photo of the underpainting in this post, I know I will be making a few adjustments to some of the shapes I see...


Anonymous said...

Way to go Joanne. You've already got a formidable start, great shapes and what one of my teachers used to refer to as " the dragon ". That's the curving swirl of composition that pulls your eye around the canvas.
Great handling of those mountain tops.
I may have to try that acrylic underpainting idea.
Another blogger and DVD teacher Mike Rooney, does it this way too.
I suspect it helps keep the top colors from getting contaminated if the under layer hasn't set yet.
I'll be looking forward to seeing the next steps too.
Have fun.
Oh, and congratulations to you and the owner of the lovely eggshell watercolor.

Joanne said...

I like that term "the dragon"! That's one I'll be able to remember. :-) I'm not sure what the purpose of the acrylic underpainting is, but you have to wait till it's dry before you begin with the oils. I think it is to see if you have a good balance of darks, lights and mid-tones. I'll have to ask him at our next demo!