Friday, June 29, 2012

Experimenting with Water Miscible Oils

Some time ago I was asked about painting a pet portrait in oil and I said no because of the odor, the mess and frankly, the cost.  Then I remembered some water miscible oils I'd briefly used many, many years ago and thought I'd give them another try.

Of course the tubes I'd used way back then were dried up and harder than brick bats (what's a brick bat anyway?) so I immediately did a little online research and placed an order for some Lukas Berlin water miscible oil paints.  They arrived yesterday and I did the little painting shown above.  Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination but it did give me a good indication of how I'd like these oils.  (I do!)

Because the order was being shipped via that crazy UPS to local Post Office method that took nearly 2 weeks the last time, I wasn't really prepared with canvas or brushes.  I'd hoped to get to Hobby Lobby or Michael's to pick up any supplies I needed as I wanted to see them in person.  But, surprise!  here's the order and I wanted to get started painting so I found two brushes left over from my oil painting days and a small (5x7 inch) stretched canvas.  The wave seemed to have the perfect proportions for the little canvas so I started painting and finished it pretty much in one sitting (alla prima).

I'm someone who really gets inspired playing with the different mediums and I started out painting in oil in high school art waaaaaay back in the 60's so painting in oils again felt very comfortable.  These water miscible oils are great too.  There's virtually no smell and the clean up is quick and easy.  As with any other medium, there is a downside to using them - they still take up to a week or more to dry to the touch and 6 months to a year to dry/cure enough to varnish.  However, many artists are opting not to varnish their paintings so I may follow their example (which would have been heresy in my early years of painting!)  I know I have to relearn some techniques, prepare to be patient with the drying time and practice, practice, practice but I think I'll really enjoy using these paints.


sue said...

I love to see oil and watercolour paintings but realistically they aren't for me - I'm more comfortable with a pencil than a brush but I'm glad you're enjoying these water miscible oils.

Jan/ said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sue. Yes, I love the immediacy of pastels but don't enjoy graphite or colored pencil as well. The fact that the oils are pretty immediate also and don't have to be framed behind glass is a big plus for me.

We'll see how it goes as it's nice to have options!