Paint: The Final Frontier

Okay, probably not the final final frontier. I haven’t tried egg tempera yet, and my mucking about with dry pigments has been minimal and I don’t even own an airbrush. But nevertheless, I am going to take the plunge that I have avoided so assidiously and so long–I’m buyin’ some oil paints.

God help me.

I liked the softness and intensity and blendability of the oil pastels. I really liked it. And if I could do it smaller and creamier and more detailed…well…

I picked up a starter pack of the water-soluble oils t’other day, and used them for a chunk of the latest painting, which I am somewhat ambivalent about–I don’t really like the main figure, but James does, so I’ll finish it anyway. However, the oils, which I used for a sky gradient, I really really liked–not so much the handling, but the end result was a waaaay better gradient than I’d ever get out of acrylics, even if I’ll need a lot more practice before it’ll be mistaken for airbrushing. And the colors are downright intense. Unfortunately, they’re also downright damp–even the water soluble oils are still tacky the next day. I did what I always do in times of artistic crisis–I called my mother.

“Get regular oils and thin them with Winsor Newton Liquin,” she said. “They’ll be dry in eight to ten hours, definitely by the next day.” She also does most of the paintings in acrylic, and then glazes the oils over the top for the final effects, a technique that I think I could handle.

So this afternoon, I am going out, and despite my years of protests that the slow drying time of oils will make me craaaaaazy, and that I should not handle dangerous chemicals, I am…gonna…try it.

Wish me luck.

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