After a week or two of painting, video editing and learning how to properly use YouTube, I am finally ready to release my latest time-lapse. This video and written steps features the process, tools and techniques I use to paint my oil on canvas paintings!
This painting, called Parading Poppies, was produced using oil paints on stretched canvas and is 160x60cm in size. See below the video for written steps!
Oil Painting Lesson Steps:
First, decide where the horizon line is going. Then under paint the lower half – I used Australian Red Gold, Indian Yellow and Burnt Umber – to create a base layer. This is done very quickly – don’t worry too much about getting this layer perfect.
Next sketch in very roughly where the flowers will be going using pigment sticks. This step is a quick sketch using easy, free flowing strokes. It’s just to get an idea of where the flowers will be placed on the canvas and it’s only an outline.
Start to block in some colour on the flowers. Begin with darker reds – Pilbara Red, Cadmium Red Deep which can also be darkened with a little black. I rarely use black on its own, I prefer to mix it with other colours to create more interesting darks.
Remember to use slight variations of the colours which will make the painting a little more interesting. Begin painting the foliage. I started with Indigo and Australian Red Gold to create a warm green, and this was helped by the yellow/orange under painting. I use a combination of quite large, flat brushes and rubber ‘shapers’ to get broad, loose strokes.
I now gradually start refining the poppies moving through lighter shades of red to create the brightest flowers in the central area. I still want a whimsical look with lots of movement so I don’t want to make it too ‘perfect’ or the flowers too well formed. Similarly, the grasses and leaves are developed further bringing in the brighter greens around the brighter poppies.
Now I leave the painting to dry a bit before I start on the background behind the flowers. I don’t want the reds to get into the background colours.
Once the paint is drier, start adding in the lighter background colours using a ‘block’ style. I used vary shades of yellow including Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Yellow Light, Napes Yellow, Indian Yellow, together with Titanium White.
The final touches can be added using a smaller brush and the pigment sticks again. Little flashes of colour are very effective. Also, I’ve have left little bits of the under painting showing through. I want to link the sky with the foreground and this is done by taking some of the leaves/flowers across the horizon line. The sky needs to be dry before this is done.
The painting will be varnished when completely dry which will protect the paint but also give it a lovely sheen.
Tools used for this oil painting:
– Pigment sticks from R&F
– Oil Paints from Art Spectrum
– Stretched Canvas
– Brushes from Neef
– Rubber shapers, various sizes
– Varnish from Winsor and Newton
– You can find good prices on most of these products at Blick Art Suppliers