2021 is off to a busy start around here. My first commissioned piece of the year, a 36×48 oil painting of a store logo. Now, I love a good challanging piece but the oil part had me a little nervous. The last time I used oils was years ago & I quickly learned that I didn’t have the patience to wait for things to dry. But I was looking forward to giving it another try. So now that I’m finished with the piece, here are my thoughts on it & what I learned along with way.
My color palette was pretty simple. For this piece I was painting a company logo & the colors were green, lime green & black, pretty simple. I used Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colours in Titanium White, Ivory Black & Permanent Green Light. The Permanent Green Light shade was too dark to be a lime green, so I mixed in white until it became the shade I was looking for. Easy Peasy. If you’re new to oil paints, know that you’ll need a medium of your choosing to go along with the paint. Oils are very thick, you’ll need another medium to help thin the paints to make them workable. I used Gamblin Gamsol & Stand Oil.
Gamsol is basically a paint thinner. You’ll add a tiny bit of it into a small dish, dip your brush into the Gamsol & mix it into your oils a small section at a time. Gamsol helps speed up the drying process. Stand Oil on the other hand, slows the process down but the color is so much more vibrant & it glides across the canvas smoothly. I added a small amount (about a teaspoon) of Gamsol & equal parts Stand Oil into a small dish. Again, dip your brush into the Gamsol/Stand Oil mixture & mix it into your oils a small section at a time.
While I don’t really have a ton of patience for oils, I actually really enjoyed this piece. It forced me to slow down & appreciate the process. This was a huge canvas so there was a lot of drying down. Oils like warm, dry air, so don’t expect them to dry very fast in cold enviroments.Oil paintings take a long time to dry. Looooong time. Obviously, make sure it’s completely dry before applying a varnish. I used Winsor & Newton’s Artists’ Gloss Varnish. I love the look of this varnish, it definitely wakes up the piece, brings the colors back to life. BUT the fumes are very strong, so make sure you’re using it in a well ventilated space.
I hope this was helpful. Let me know! While I was waiting on this piece to dry I decided to try finger painting with oils!
You can see how those turned out here Finger Painting Isn’t Just for Kids