Red flowers anyone? An advantage of painting with oil.

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One of the best advantages for me in my art journey is using oil paint. This blog post is about a recent re-working of an oil painting. It was started maybe 7-8 years ago. I found it a while back, cleaning my studio closet. 

Here, to the left, is what the painting looked like when I found it. Well, let me say this: at the time I painted it, I was proud of it. Loved the colors of the flowers as well as the color of the vase. I'd been in a Jim Crompton workshop and he had done a painting with a similar composition. Sorry the photo isn't very sharp, but you get the idea. It does seem similar to Jim's in composition, but not so much in technique... it could be improved. 

 Oil painting by Jim Crompton

Oil painting by Jim Crompton

Here on the right is his painting from that workshop, which to my great and fortunate surprise, he gave me at the end. Lucky me! And the reason I feel so blessed to have this painting is that Jim died a couple of months later. 

Fast forward eight years and I've learned a great deal more about painting, mixing color, what is a good composition and also more about technique. Actually, the composition isn't too bad but the technique... well, it isn't very good. So I got a critique from a good artist friend who suggested defining the flowers more and asked me to check on the direction of the light coming across the vase. Did my other directions match up? Well, no... not even close. 

Because I was using oil paint, I could "oil out" the old, dried painting, get a fresh surface, and continue to work on this painting even after all those years. Oh, the joy of being an oil painter! Over the years I had learned that you wouldn't highlight red flowers with white. You would use a lighter shade from the color of the flowers. And some definition of stems would improve the work, as well as the color of the background, which would give the effect of pushing the flowers forward and making them - and the vase - look more three dimensional. It is fun when you know how to improve a painting! 

This third image is what my painting looks like today. It is hanging in Suite Art 144 at Revolution Mill in our Summer Show. Quite an improvement, if I say so myself! And of all the things I've posted on Instagram, this has received the most hearts! "They like it... they really like it!!" to quote Sally Fields. :)

I would love to show it to you in person if you'd like. Call 336-437-5993 to set up an appointment. Comments are welcome... and appreciated. Ciao!