Part 5: Lockdown hobbies – painting with oil paints on small canvas’

Hi friends,

I had to joy of painting this weekend. This is my second attempt with oil paints. I found some close ups from Vincent Van Gogh’s painting and attempted to recreate the images to learn the techniques that he used in his vibrant art works.

Best part of this painting:

  • I love how the paintings turned out – they have a lot of character.
  • My favourite painting is the one of the flowers – I enjoy the value range and the placement of the white flowers.

My process:

  1. Look at images on Pinterest and choose a few to recreate – as a study!
  2. Think about how much paint you need for the painting.
  3. Prepare your palette, I stuck an A4 piece of paper onto my wooden board.
  4. Squeeze out the paint on to the palette based on how much of that colour appears in the painting.
  5. Get your paint brushes ready, look at the strokes on the painting and pick paint brushes you think might do the job. (It’s a good idea to do test swatches to get an idea of the brush strokes at an earlier stage so you’re not fussing about at this point)
  6. Stick tiny canvas’ on cardboard or an old magazine to keep it stable as you paint.
  7. Have tissues next to you.
  8. Set up the work space, with the palette on the right and canvas in front of you.
  9. Paint!

Things I learnt:

  • I would use waterproof surface as a palette. I thought printer paper might work…. WRONG! it just absorbed the oil and made it difficult to mix the paint.
  • The canvas’ were small 7cm x 10xcm so in order to create those lovely brush strokes I could have used a thinner brush.
  • It was hard to apply paint to create those stiff lines by using paint brushes with softer paint bristles. The one you might use for acrylic paint blends the paint and makes the strokes flat, you can see this on the yellow trees.
  • Stiff paint brush with oil paint is better for impressionist Van Gogh type paintings.
  • Working from dark to light works well.

Some tips:

  • Prior preparation: I found photos of art that I loved and made me happy. I pinned these on my Pinterest board.
  • I have a rolling to do list on my Iphone note and wrote this “Tiny Canvas oil paintings” down as one of the fun projects I could do in my spare time in the month of August. This got me excited and geared me up each day to paint.
  • When inspiration stikes me and I have a spare few hours, I take out my paints and act quickly.
  • Painting for about an hour to an hour and a half on small canvas’ is a good amount of time before you’ll become fatigued.
  • The more you paint and mix colours the better you will get at visually identifying the warmth and coolness of a colour and adjust accordingly.
  • Find inspiration before you sit down to paint, the creating process is much quicker. Save pictures and photos through out the week in preparation for the moment you sit down to create.
  • Post editing tricks: 1. Use channel mixer to get the WB levels right, meaning getting the whites as white as possible. You will need to adjust the reds, greens and blues to make the image cooler or warmer. 2. Use Curve layer to adjust the value range which will determine the level of contrast of the photo.

What I used and other resources:

Hoping that you are all safe and well, esp, those in Sydney.

Let me know how you go, you can contact me via my instagram @365daysofscribbles.

Teresa xx

2 thoughts on “Part 5: Lockdown hobbies – painting with oil paints on small canvas’”

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