Monday, July 17, 2017

An oil painting after so many years

When I was a teenager, I used to attend an oil painting class not far from my home in Renedo. During that time, I copied a few famous oil paintings such as Gustave Caillebotte's Le pont de l’Europe. After more than 15 years, I decided to make a new oil painting. The problem was that I had forgotten almost everything. Or that's what I thought. In fact, as I started reading and during the painting process I was able to recall most of the things I used to know. All that information was still there in my brain, just a little bit rusted!.

I began by coating a canvas board in dark green colours. Usually a canvas made of linen is best, but this was kind of an experiment so I just used a canvas board from the 100 yen store Daiso. After the green layer dried, I drew the line work on top of it. This time I just copied a portrait that I found on a random website.

It took me some time to recall the names of the oil paint colours that I used to use. For the skin tones, I had to do some research and ended up using ultramarine blue, yellow cadmium, red cadmium and titanium white.

My first tries were really horrible. I had to let the painting dry and redraw everything again for a few times. Instead of applying paint all over, I should have put special emphasis on getting the shapes and values correct at first.

After some iterations, I was finally getting a bit closer to the portrait I was copying from. The woman looks different but here I wanted to focus on recalling the colouring process.

The end result was a small success compared to the initial tries. I learned a lot from my mistakes and it was also useful to know how far I am from being a good painter. I decided to leave the painting untouched, and I'll try to use all the learned lessons for the next one.

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