Friday, January 7, 2011

Not again...

By Eric Fortune

Yessir, I'm trying my hand at oils again. I apologize to all the oil painters in advance. For warm up I watched Dan Dos Santos' dvd tutorial. I'm currently finishing up Donato's dvd. Thanks guys! Some problems I had with my first experimentation several months ago was the consistency of the paint. I think I was starting out way too thick and it was rather difficult to control. I started with some quick acrylic washes to do a little shading and to fix the drawing so that it wouldn't smudge. I'm not painting as thick and I'm also using a second soft yet firm(oxymoron? it's basically your average house painting brush) brush to spread the paint thin while blending out unwanted brush strokes or not quite blending them out if I like them. It's moving fairly quick and is Actually, it's quite fun. Who knew? All the oil painters I assume.

Painting more thin in this manner and gradually adding in darks and colors is not too different than how I normally paint. It feels familiar. The extended blending time is awesome. I do however, wish I could flash dry the paint as I finish blending. I'm sure I'll run into some problems but currently feel good about the progress and process. I plan on documenting this piece a little more than previous paintings. To see the first vid click here (or see below). I'm currently uploading the 4th vid. Hopefully, it will be done by the time you read this. Tips? crits? I'm wide open.


  1. I'm by no means a pro with oils, but I feel like I've improved a lot from my starting point to where I am now, so here's what I've got to offer. I had a lot of problem the first few months I worked with oils, for a lot of the reasons that you've stated: I started too thick with the paint instead of using thinner or other elements to water down the paint, which really changes the hue and saturation of whatever colors you're working with.

    I had to revisit oils after working a lot with acrylics and pastels, and I learned a lot of what of I'm sure you've managed to figure out at this point. Beginning thin, with dead pallet colors, helps you build up the general idea of the painting that you're working on, and from there you can slowly begin to use thicker mixed colors utilizing a fuller pallet.

    I understand completely the desire for a flash dry. One way around this without the use of a blow dryer or an oven is to work with thicker, less deluded paint, which you would apply over the top of the other layers of paint, though this is something you'd usually do closer to the ending stages of the painting. Otherwise, the only things I can suggest are basics that I'm sure you're already familiar with: develop your painting evenly, start with thinner paints and get thicker as you go, and fat over lean. I've only watched up to the end of part 3, but it's looking great so far.

  2. Great post and vids Eric! Indeed Oils are fun. Seems like you're being more aggressive then usual and maintaining confidence? Looks comfortable and definitely fun. Throw that paint down! Really enjoyed seeing the layers form. Keep it up! Looking forward to seeing the original. Thanks!

  3. Loving it, Dude!

    I like the tree that you added in.
    It gives it a lot more depth and helps set the moon back.
    I could see you adding a few petals laying on the ground or floating on the water's surface.

    Hot reference, btw!!!

  4. I wonder where the hell you are goinga nd what you are doing inteh frames where you are away from the cnavas. Out for a snack, going to the bathroom, picking nose or freshening up your hair?

    Looks cool. I should paint that size too. It makes for a clear image. It is fantastic to be able to see you paint live. A wonderful thing about the internet I must say.
    Think I will avoid it myself. People shouldn´t see or hear how much I sigh and yell and drink and scratch my hair while painting. I would ruin my apperance of tottally control...( yeah right )

  5. Do you use any mediums with your oils? Sometimes I use a copal medium, or something like M. Graham's Walnut/Alkyd medium for better, it helps get rid of the matte effect caused by the drying of solvents.

  6. I was always taught thin to thick - dark to light. The thinner the paint the quicker it dries (and you use less which is good if you are a poor student). Lots of people use hair driers for fast drying.

  7. Thanks guys.

    Dan, I've worked too hard to get this body not to show it off a little. Once the wig was properly adjusted it all came together.

    Jesper, the beauty of time-lapse. I dont' sound or look too retarded. And it actually looks like I'm being productive! Except for the 90% of the time when I'm off screen stuff I'm sure.

  8. I'm using half odorless turpentine half linseed oil with a few drops of the cobalt drier. And I'm setting it in front of my oven for a bit to help with the drying. I left the body for tomorrow. So I shouldn't have to worry too much about the parts I just worked on and they will be able to dry a little more thoroughly. The sense of progress is invigorating. I'm really glad I made myself try the oils again. I need to start another piece so I can work on one while the other dries. Will be taking more photo ref soon for the next piece.

  9. I just love the head placement compositionally and the contour of her hair.
    A lot of obvious geometric comps seem hard but this feels organic, that slight bend in the torso and the way the line of the legs rises up away from the cylinder beneath her just a bit really gives this life. The soft blending above the head and below her extended finger also put her right into her environment in an interactive way. The extension of the limbs really uses the geometry idea to evoke a gentle beauty about the piece. Eric, what a great piece! :)

  10. hey buddy... looking good! have fun with it and just remember to sit back and enjoy all the little things that occur with oils.

    One thing that helps me with painting large is to use a curtain rod. You know, the ones that have the bent ends? Use this as a guide for a steady hand... works well!


  11. Flash drying for oils:

    I have heard a lot of people have had luck with these paints but they tend to be expensive and require specific medium. They cure by being treated with a heat gun. I believe they work on the same technology as polymer clays. I have not tried these myself but one day I will make the leap.

    - Joey

  12. I would be careful with use of heat/hair dryers/excessive fanning to dry your paint. Oils dry by a chemical oxidation process (similar to rusting or cumbustion), not by evaporation. While heat or fanning will slightly speed drying of top paint, if the paint is thick, this will make it take much longer to dry paint underneath, or cause paint to crack (as the paint on top will then dry at a different rate than the paint underneith).

    Cobalt drier, solvents and painting mediums that contain solvents are your best bets. And a lot of patience.

  13. amendment:

    ... if wikipedia can be trusted.

  14. Hey, congratulations on your Spectrum award! A beautiful painting. This one's looking fine, too. My only observation is that although you're obviously used to wielding the brush the way you do(and achieve beautiful results), you might try holding it closer to the end of the handle and standing further away. You'd be surprised at the freedom and control you feel after a little practice.

  15. Hey Eric,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your process live. I have learned a great deal about your blending and colour sense from the videos. Your work is crazy beautiful in any medium.


    Andrea Ward


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