Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Rest of the Story

Continued from the previous post! The reason I'm writing this is that I've been painting and selling my work in New Bern for 20 years, and you're probably wondering why am I not just doing paintings like I usually do?

I did prints of my ink drawings and hand colored each one. I hand colored hundreds of them. After doing about 600 or 700 of them I could mix paint!

I went on to do many paintings in watercolor and adding ink to define the shapes. I eventually dropped the ink and worked just in watercolor.  (Started doing pottery too, that's another story).

Off and on over the past 4 or 5 years, maybe longer,  I'd decide that I'd like to try my hand at acrylics and oils.

Well I'm back at it. Trying to learn how to paint with oils.

People think that if you can paint in one medium you can paint in another. Working with oils and watercolors are totally different.

With watercolors you have to leave the light. You paint from the front to the back and light to dark.

With oils you paint from the back to the front, dark to light and add the highlights last.

With watercolors you can just rinse your brush off with water, if you get paint on your clothes it usually comes out and if you get a drop of paint on the floor it dries immediately.

With acrylics it's more difficult to mix natural looking colors. If you put many colors out on your palette, they've dried before you get a chance to use them. Dried paint ruins brushes.

With oils the colors are natural and rich. The colors blend well, but if you mix more than a couple colors together you get mud. A drop of paint stays wet for days and can end up all over your studio, your cat and every piece of clothing you own.

In the past I've finished one or two good paintings in oils, then went back to working with watercolors. This time I hope to keep with it long enough to be able to consistently turn our nice  paintings. We'll see!

So to answer the question, why change, it's because I want to paint landscapes and just can't get the richness and excitement I want with watercolors.

I'll have about a dozen new oil paintings (I hope!! Some will be small) for my next show I'm doing with Carol Tokarski at Carolina Creations called "Out in the County". Which opens the second Friday of July during art walk!

Janet Francoeur

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