Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stretching a bit - without a *yawn*!

Absolutely no yawns since I was stretching all my artistic muscles by attending an oil painting workshop led by Phil Beck.  Yep, you heard right!  Oil painting! 

someday it will be Billie Jane... hehe!
Why, you might ask, did my watercolor loving self wander into the oil painting workshop?  Welllllll.... I had a little help from my friends - hehe - two of whom encouraged me to explore the world of oils.  And, I already had a lot of oil painting supplies that belonged to my mother.   They were just sitting there in a box... calling me...  saying "paint in oils...paint in oils... paint..."

Okay.  Well, maybe it was just the voices in my head saying that I had everything I needed to paint in oils so why not do it!  Never mind that it had been over 40 years since I touched a brush to oils and slathered them on canvas...

But then there was the fact that the Phil Beck workshop was focusing on painting animals.  Hehe - right up my pasture, I would say.  Sooooo.... I packed up some supplies and headed to Scottsdale and painted away for three days.

Phil did two demos - I really liked his little rooster!  You will note that his reference photo is on his computer.  I have painted this way for several years and I really missed my computer during class.  I just didn't want to haul it down there...  it's heavy!  If you haven't tried this, I really encourage you to do it.  The colors are way better than any photo and you can zoom into your image and see all the details.  Without bifocals...

So here is Phil's little rooster at the end of his demo...

And here is a painting of Hershey that I was working on during the last day of the workshop...

See what I mean about the photograph versus the computer?  Sooooo much easier to get the details in there when you can zoom into the image...

Okay, and I kept on painting and picking up lots of hints and suggestions from Phil and his wife, Marty (they team teach).  And I slathered a bit more paint on Hershey...

Here I am "mucking" around with the background.  Ahem.  Literally.  I was playing with colors to see what I wanted on there... and, nope, I still haven't decided.  Any ideas?  And, yeah, he's still not finished either *lol*

But, as my daughter said - "Well, Mama, it is oils.  It will be wet for a while."  Haha - so I have time to still go back and work in a few changes here and there before it's dry.

So, there you have it.  Moving from very fluid watercolor to squishy thick oil paint was quite a challenge but it was also lots of fun.  Am I thinking about giving up watercolors?  Nope!  But I will dip a brush in oils now and then, I am sure.

Have your stretched your creativity lately?  or are you planning to?  If so, share what's up in your corner of the world!



  1. Beautiful painting, looks great for your first class!

  2. So beautiful Kathy~ I agree with you on the computer- it's the best way to view your subject. You will have to invest in a tablet style that you can take along to the workshops next time.

  3. Wow, that is amazing! Great work with your oil paintings, how fun that must have been! It is such a cool look. :) I drew/colored a horse in colored pencils the other night, but that is as far as my artistic-ness went this week! ;) Thanks for sharing, these are great!!!

  4. Yay! Good for you - jumping into an oil workshop - and Hershey is lookin good :D

    I rely on my laptop for reference, too. Really like the ability to zoom in on some sections - way past the bifocal capabilities. Isn't technology wonderful ;^)

  5. Sounds good, and looks great! I'm originally an oil painter, now playing with watercolors, and I still treat the waterpaints as if they were oils! Enjoy your painting time whatever the medium!

  6. that's a great idea of using the computer as your subject. I've just gotten back into drawing once a week. And I like the like color under Hershey's face! {:-D

  7. Thanks, Pam!

    Jeanne - good idea, though I did learn that the notebook had better have really good definition or it won't work.

    K. Joy - Thanks so much! Glad you got a little art time, too =)

    Lee - thank you! I agree - technology sure can be helpful sometimes!

    Thanks, Dora! haha - I kept putting lots of thinner in the paint and using oils like watercolor.

    Thanks story! I really like using the computer - it sure makes it easier to get the detail.

  8. I know nothing about drawing or painting, let alone painting with oils or watercolors. How you can get such a realistic painting from a photo is a complete mystery to me, but a beautiful one!

  9. Sounds like a lot of fun! I'm sure water colors and oils are VERY different!
    I love the idea of using the computer...you're right about being able to zoom for detail!

  10. Thank you, Judy! I appreciate the compliment =)

    memories - they are very different! Thick oil based paint vs thin watery washes - lol - and I kept getting too much thinner in my oil paint. But, hey - it was like watercolor then ;-)

  11. How fun, Kathy! The rooster is wonderful! Hershey is coming along very well! Can't wait to see him finished!
    Using the computer is a great idea! makes so much sense!
    I'm planning on making some items from recycled sweaters. That's been on my agenda for a few weeks, so I hope to have some time soon.

    Splendid Little Stars

  12. Your Mom would be proud and happy! I like the bluish contrast you have going on in the bottom right - it works well. I also love the sunshine look on Hershey's face. Keep the faith - it is working out very nicely!

  13. Thank you, Splendid! The rooster was done by the instructor and it was very interesting to watch the work in progress. You project sounds like lots of fun, too =)

  14. *grabs tissue* Wow, Karin - thank you for the encouragement!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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