“Well what am I suppose to do with this?”

IMG_0236After my last post I made a promise to myself to be more creative with the title. That being said, I feel the need to inform you that this is my third oil painting – ever! Yep I am still a newbie to this fantastic medium and essentially I am trying out different techniques to see what I can do.

This painting caused me so much agonising! Originally the whole thing was very pale, with soft light, and although it looked in a way complete .. I just hated it. It looked okay, but it just wasn’t IT. I just saw an oil painting that looked like a water colour and my love for oils comes from the vividness of the colours, the exciting contrasts and the seemingly chaotic brush strokes. From there on each painting session became a surprise – I never really knew what I was going for until it was there in front of me, and I just stopped painting when I realised I did not like what I had done but I needed to allow it to dry before I could rectify.

I occasionally asked my partner what he thought, and he is fantastic at verbalising my expressions and giving it back to me in a way that just sparks the next move “so I am peeking through trees at a girl who is looking at a figure in the background?” Well that was obvious, but for some reason his verbalisation of it gave me the direction that I needed and away I went building up those trees. I feel relatively content with the painting now, although when this layer is dry I might add some lighter blue shades to the trees at the top to create a sky effect peeking through.

Techniques I used and learnt on this painting? 

The first layers I used white spirit as a mixer. This made the paint extremely thin and spread a long way. Apparently white spirit should be faster to dry, however I found that when I painted over it with line-seed oil mixed paint afterwards it made my brush strokes seem wet and just not what I wanted. I won’t go as far as saying I won’t use white spirit again because sometimes you really need an undercoat, however I didn’t like the effects I achieved with it as much.

To build up the tree effect I essentially just dabbed on the oil paints until my brush went dry, and then just kept dabbing. This built up the effect quite quickly, and I introduced different shades and tones of greens, yellow and brown.

What is this painting about? 

Well I think the point of all art is that the viewer takes from it what it means to them. That being said, to me it represents a little girl, who see’s other people playing and making it look so easy, she wants to play, she wants to join in, but for her that isn’t as simple as what everyone makes it look – for her the whole thing is a maze, and she is hiding her maze behind her. I look at her and see her thinking “well what am I suppose to do with this?”



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