Q. I can’t find a definitive answer to the question of whether it’s archivally sound to do an oil painting over acrylic gesso. I’m going to be teaching some classes soon and I want to give my students the correct information. Can you help?Greg LipeltMinneapolis, MNA. Your question brings up one of the toughest issues facing artists and conservation scientists today.
Category Techniques and Tips
For those who are painting with acrylics, this can be a big issue if only because you are constantly dealing with the consequences or benefits of your decision to work with jar color or paint from tubes. Namely, how much paint do you use?Carved in Stone by Charles Harrington, 48 x 60, acrylic painting.
I’m always surprised that the so-called ‘Painter of Light’ isn’t a watercolorist. Luminous light effects are what the medium is all about, and watercolor artist Jean Grastorf has created a unique body of watercolor paintings showcase this potential, and she does it in a way I’ve never seen before.Portifino by Jean Grastorf (watercolor painting, 20 x 30, 2003)was created using the artist’s signature pour technique.
Romanced by RustAcrylic artist Randy Van Dyck marries old cars—often exhibiting rust and failing paint—with birds. For Van Dyck, the allure of rust is in its character and the challenge it presents to the artist.“The reason I’m drawn to rusty old relics is multi-layered, much like the items themselves,” say Van Dyck.
Top Artists Share Painting TipsIn this painting, Gambrel Barn, artist Camille Przewodek’s coloristleanings are clear in the broad swaths of pigment she uses tocreate form. The overall effect is subtle and atmospheric.If I have a single regret about attending a workshop weekend or painting event it is that I can’t be everywhere at once.
White Radiance by Scott Royston,2007, oil on canvas, 14 x 11.When Scott Royston sets his sights on flowers for one of his still life painting compositions, he isn’t drawn to tiny buds or small bouquets but expressive flora in full bloom. His next steps make up an impromptu oil painting lesson that I want to share with you.
I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but there are certain habits that artists develop when oil painting that can be detrimental to the larger arc of their professional progress. None of us intend to pick up bad practices but routine and absentmindedness can trip us up. How to Paint Without Bad HabitsI’ve observed many artists working over the years, and the one thing that sticks in my mind about that whole array is that they all start their works in a different way.
When Richard McKinley creates a landscape painting, he likens it to a dance, a push-pull between the artist’s feelings for the place and the tendencies of the medium. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how he creates his painting, Acequia, from beginning to end, and what occupies his mind during each stage.
I dont get to attend as many oil painting art workshops as I would like, so when the opportunity to participate in one does present itself, I really want to get the most out of my time there. Here are a few of my own warm-up to workshop guidelines that I use in preparation for any oil painting lessons that I take so that when Im in the thick of the it, Im still focused, purposeful, and gaining ground in my art.
Garvies Point 2, oil on linen, 28 x 42, 2009. All works by Rob Zeller.I’ve always dreamed of having something, anything—shoes, a coat, a car!—custom made. While all of those are pretty much still out of my reach, I know that I can custom design how I get my art training.There are a lot of options out there for us art-minded folk, but I spoke to Rob Zeller, director of the Teaching Studios of Art, to get some guidance on what I should look for in art classes and what kinds of art instruction are out there to choose from.
I’ve always thought of a painter’s drawings as his or her diary. A finished painting is the confident, public face shown to the world, but drawings read like journal entries, where you can see an artist’s preoccupations, struggles, moments of exploration, and sense of play.Historically, drawing has been an integral part of an artist’s process.
The Fall 2013 issue of Drawing marks the magazine’s 10th anniversary, and as part of the celebration, we shined a spotlight on drawing instruction, an integral part of the magazine’s content for the last decade.Here, as part of that spotlight, we offer a brief excerpt from our article by Fernando Freitas on the Academy of Realist Art (ARA), whose curriculum is based on the 19th-century Bargue Method.
Glazing Techniques for that Old Masters GlowI have a confession to make: I’ve never glazed an oil painting. Glazing techniques intimidate me a bit — creating luminosity and an inner glow on canvas is no easy feat — and I often lose steam after about the second layer.It takes so much time, but the payoff!
Color Choices for Glazes That Make Your Painting GlowYou have the power to make your paintings glow. With this glazing tutorial, Kent Lovelace breaks down every section of a painting and discusses the ways and means to use glazing (or not), including what colors to dip your brush into first.The painting Dolmen (below) by Kent depicts an area in rural France that’s believed to be the quarry site for a prehistoric dolmen (tomb) found five kilometers up the valley.
The Beginning of Memory, oil on canvas, 2010.All works by Melinda Matyas.Palette knife painting sounds a little edgy and dangerous, but it’s really all about texture—the thick impasto swipes and flat sweeps of color that make up the surface of an oil painting. I’ve never created an entire painting with just a palette knife before, and I wanted to see what the appeal was for Melinda Matyas, a Hungarian-born artist who works in Romania.
By Beth Samek, Online Education Manager at Artist’s Network UniversityIntegrating art into your daily life is a challenge, but once you’ve successfully created your daily artistic life, it’s important to keep moving yourself forward. Pushing your own artistic skills and boundaries can help keep things interesting and help you continue your success!
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then a painter needs to get them right when creating a portrait painting. But the “oval, circle, dot” anatomy of the eye that we all first learned as children is far removed from how to give the illusion of a real eye in your work. I hope these will help guide you when it comes time to depict this particular facial feature.
While packing to move into our new offices, I came across a self-portrait I painted several years ago that was lost in a stack of papers. Here are some of the methods that help me:I look at my painting in a mirror.When I simply reverse the image, I immediately see problems in the drawing or the composition of shapes and values.
When I discovered grisaille oil painting I thought Id gone to heaven. Learning how to oil paint is a lot of fun, but it is also just a lot. There is so much to deal with–getting your forms right, steering toward an interesting composition, brushwork, and color. I could focus on the first two but color is still a stumper for me no matter how much I love it, and my brushwork is a work in progress to be sure.
Winters Approachoil painting, 34 x 26, 2008,by Joseph Alleman.Artists are the sharpest of observers, attuned to a persons passing gesture or the play of light and shadow on a building façade—but not everything that catches our eye is a painting waiting to happen. For Utah watercolorist and oil painter Joseph Alleman, the stories that hold his interest are reflections of his passions and his environment.
New Utrecht Avenue2008, watercolor, 25 x 35. Private collection.I need personal time in the studio to reflect, journal, and work. Something I can look forward to and walk away from believing the growth has taken seed.Besides practice, for many of us, reading books and articles, watching videos, attending workshops, or even enrolling in long-term schooling makes a big difference in our development.