Working With Oil Paints

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This week I have been thinking about why I paint with oils, what advantages they afford me, and how they influence my concepts. The most significant characteristic of oil paint is the length of time that they stay wet and movable. Oils stay wet for hours—even days, presenting a great opportunity for reworking paint, but can be extremely frustrating to work with. Instead of fighting against the paint that wants to move and streak, I choose to embrace it.

With this project I started each piece far from the desired outcome, and with each day of work I try to bring it closer to reality. The majority of of my compositions are made with cool colors. I started each piece with reds, oranges and yellows, usually the compliments of the actual colors. I apply them with  loose, quick brushstrokes, creating a warm, abstract under-painting. With each successive layer I tighten up the painting little by little

I correct angles and shapes, add more realistic colors, and slowly add details. Each new layer of paint mixes with paint underneath, making the paint imperfect, but much richer. This ties in with the concept of the show, Departures. Through my process I depart from the abstract and slowly move towards reality, with layer upon layer of paint.

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