Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sum of All Parts

Some of you who read this blog may know that I have some insecurities about how slowly I paint. It's a source of great frustration for me, because I love using oils, but my technique is such that it takes an inordinately long time to get anything finished. I often see other artists who can finish 5 or more pieces to every one of mine, and it makes me feel like I'm moving in slow motion or underwater. I definitely would be the tortoise in the "tortoise and hare" story, that's for sure. Sometimes I feel like I'm not even part of the hobby because I'm not always out there with something new every few weeks.

But I have discovered something that may help me speed up a little bit. I like to use alkyd mediums when I paint, which have a moderate drying effect, but they don't work the same way as cobalt or japan driers do (supposedly they are a more flexible film not prone to cracking). So I did a little experiment with three of the mediums:

Winsor & Newton Liquin Original, Daniel Smith Oil Painting Medium, and Liquin Fine Detail. I used Rembrandt's Permanent Red Light for this experiment because it seems to stay wet on my palette for weeks at a time, and I mixed about 15% medium with paint. The results were interesting. Liquin Original and DS Painting Medium were pretty much dry to the touch after 24 hours, but Liquin Fine Detail had a tacky feeling to it. It took a couple of days before the Fine Detail medium felt more dry. And wouldn't you know it? That is the medium that I was using to paint my models with! So I have switched over to Liquin Original (which I LOVE) and I'm much happier with the drying times now. I plan on having a more thorough review of the mediums in a future post.

Another thing I am trying to do is to paint only part of the model in each session. For instance, I have divided it up into underside, body, head, mane/tail, legs, so that each day I can concentrate on one part of the model while the rest of it dries. That way I can keep painting on each piece every day. I don't know if this actually makes anything speedier, but it feels like it to me.

I have a bunch of pictures to share, but I guess they can wait 'til the next post since I've run on with this one.


ArabsRule said...

but PERFECTION takes time, your pieces are so amazing, take all the time you need :)

Erin Corbett said...

Totally - quality over quantity! Your pieces are incredible, I'd rather have one of them than five (or ten, or fifteen) of somebody else's rushed work.

Lynn A. Fraley said...

For years I've wanted to go back to using oils, but my early experience with them was so frustrating due to the time it took them to dry -- wow, you've opened up a whole world of new possibilities Carol, thanks!