Sunday, July 18, 2010


Yesterday I (once again) spent a lot of time pouring over my notes for the oil painting class that I'm writing/preparing. I'm getting down to the last details and only need to expound about a few more things when the odd thought popped into my head: "Why not do a version in impasto?"

I'd already done two other versions. One which took me several days and layers and is very similar to my normal style of painting. Another which was done in two sessions, one to block in the basic colors and the second to refine the details but not to my normal extent.

Impasto! I can't ever recall doing impasto. I not really a fan of the technique. It uses up a LOT of paint and takes forever to dry. Such paintings cannot be overly detailed, but why not? So I did. I had prepared my canvas with an informational sketch. I went through my brush drawer and managed to locate two bristle hair brushes (much to my own surprise).

I put out twice as much paint as I usually do and mixed fewer colors than normal. I knew with the Impasto and wet into wet technique I would be mixing some of the colors ON the canvas itself. This was another of those "thirsty" canvases so mixing colors on the canvas was a bit difficult. As the quantity of paint on the canvas increased, mixing became a bit easier.

The trillium is too blue but it works. Part of the intent was to do this whole project in a short period of time. I spent perhaps three hours doing this painting. I was more concerned about trying to get that impasto effect than really mastering how to use impasto more effectively.

What I learned (should I ever decide that I should try this again) is that I needed more brushes. Trying to clean the two brushes I had to change color was a real pain. You load the brushes with so much paint that it just seems like it will take forever to get the paint out.

Impasto painting is sloppy! I recall a discussion on the EBSQ forums and "painting clothes" - clothes that have gotten covered with paint. I don't have a set of "painting clothes", but I can see why they would be needed if I were to do some more impasto paintings!

All in all the experience was fun and I hope I can find some meaningful way to include this into my oil painting class for CraftEdu!

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