I have been waiting and waiting to have a try at oil painting again, having only painted one previous oil painting in my life before.
So when I saw saw a set of Winsor and Newton Artist’s Oil Colours which were half price I finally bought some. Then I spent a long time trying to work out which mediums to use. Previously I’d been very traditional, painting with turps and linseed oil as my mum had showed me, but I can’t go back to that turps smell again. So, after some research, and some very kind help from the technical people at Winsor and Newton, I decided to try Liquin for the first time and Sansador which is a low odour solvent. I had some problems with my pain last week and was generally feeling unwell so I couldn’t get to the shops. Instead I ordered them online – they should come very soon.
So what to paint?
I knew I wanted to paint an animal (my favourite painting subject) and finally settled on elephants. I like them because they look really kind of odd in the most lovely way but at the same time they have these beautiful loving relationships between members of their family.
I made some pencil sketches in my sketchbook to begin with…
After doing these I decided to make a final sketch of a mother and her calf for my main painting. I did this on canvas board, which was quite tricky to draw on with pencil because it’s got so much texture.
I didn’t put any shading or detail in – just enough to show my paintbrush where to go. Here’s the final outline sketch:
Now I think I’m going to paint the elephants in purple/blue greys and soft browns but I needed a background colour and I needed to sort out my colour palette generally. I want the final picture to have a calm restful complete feeling so I’m going to keep the colours restricted to two groups – yellow/browns and possibly grey/blue/purple (in the shadows) although this will be very muted,
Here’s a digital sketch of the colour ideas I’m working on at the moment…
My plan will be to make the greys in the above colour sketch just a little more blue/purple to show the coolness in the shade of these big animals and to complement the yellow orange of the savannah.
This is as far as I’ve got this week. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather so I didn’t make a start but I’m quite excited to give this a go.
My health wasn’t helped by a big thunder storm last night. I quite enjoy storms generally but my geriatric miniature schnauzer kept us both awake half the night with a new trick. She would jump off my bed when the lightning flashed against the curtains and then jumped back on in terror when the thunder roared. It was too hot for her to sleep really close to me which usually calms her down and, when she wasn’t jumping on and off, she kept panting and shaking from fear in the storm. In the end I think we both got to sleep at about 3am when I put my hand over her front paws so she knew I was there but I didn’t make her too warm. She is a silly sausage!