Thursday, June 10, 2010

Recipe for an oil painting

Getting started is always my favorite part of painting. If I'm using a photo as my reference I start by mixing different color combination's and painting little swatches of color on the paper. Don't forget to write down what colors you used on paper. I tell my students this is their recipe card. It really helps when you're just staring out. As you can see there are only four colors plus white on my palette, Winsor green, Alizarin Chrimson, Hansa Yellow and Ultramarine Blue.
Keeping it simple is the key.

If you have been following my posts you might recognize this landscape. It's the backyard of the Old Rhinebeck Inn. If you remember, I was commissioned to paint an oil painting of this scene for a wedding gift. I thought you might enjoy watching my process.
This is the first stage better know as the under painting. With oil, your first layer of paint has to be very thin. This prevents cracking as the painting dries. It almost looks like a watercolor. Once your happy with the composition and value choices you start adding thicker paint. If you look closely you can see I started adding detail to the urn and began thickening the paint in the foreground. I'll have more pictures on the weekend to share.

This week, I'm honored to be the artist on Mr. Mmm's blog "Hot Toast & Jam", Feature Friday.
Be sure to stop over and see what kind of questions he had for me.


  1. Oh and it;s such a great interview. find it on Friday. Thank you for being such a an excellent guest. Loved rereading it all.

    Again, love your process here. I remember this painting. It is lovely.

  2. always so interesting to watch the process...
    The wedding couple must be so thrilled with this gift!


  3. thank you for a look into your creative process:))

  4. I am loving all your new paintings and pen and inks! And thank you for your thoughtful comment on my blog! I know you understand that exaustion after a hard year is over and school is finally out... I have actually learned to love 2nd grade and am rising to the challenge! But I will always miss being an art teacher. Happiest of summers to you... roxanne

  5. Hey you.
    I am just loving your process and the finished pieces are just beautiful. I am such a fan of pen and ink! I hope to be sitting on the beach soon doing some of my own.



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