Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bird Practice - Oil Painting

I made this painting on heavy paper. Oil paint gets absorbed into the paper and dries up really fast, on canvas it dries a lot slower. I can't exactly say what is better, paper or canvas, it depends on personal preference.
It being painted on paper worked with me on some sections and against me on others. For example it was pretty hard to get a smooth blend on the background because it was drying fast and I had to keep reapplying paint. I found that it's a lot easier to just add not really well mixed paint and then smooth it up with the finger instead of a brush, that was fun! Who can say no to finger painting, right?
On the bird itself, it was to my advantage that it dried quickly. I made a thin layer of paint as the under color and built up the smaller and thinner brush strokes to get the light feathery effect.
It's a rather small painting (5x6.5”/12x16 cm) so I couldn't get the amount of detail work done that I wanted, at the end I was working with a brush that has like 3 hairs and even that wasn't thin enough.
I was trying to make this painting photo-realistic looking and I think I got close to it. I am still against the photorealism paintings, because I could get a much better picture if I just printed the reference image, it wouldn't be as time consuming and I think it gives more value to the art of photography.. but... seeing that I am able to create something like it is rewarding.

Time: 3.5 hours
Fun level: 7/10
Difficulty level: 8/10
Success level: 8/10

The process wasn't as fun, I didn't really enjoy how much I had to rework the background, but I really enjoyed the way it looked at the end.
While oil is still one of the more forgiving mediums, every mistake costs a lot of waiting time. When paint is still wet, it's hard to cover it up without the colors mixing, this painting being on paper did help but still took time. Trying to remove the paint by adding more oil or mineral spirit and wiping it off, put the rest of the painting at risk since the painting is small.
I gave myself a high success score because I think the end result looks pretty good.

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