View Full Version : 3rd Attempt at Oils.

02-19-2005, 12:24 PM
Just starting oils back in December of 2004, and my 3rd Attempt at painting with oils, I finally got some tips from many of you viewers, and mainly from a book from an artist I just discovered last month.
A man named Kalon Baughan published a book called "Painting the faces of wildlife, step by step". I love dogs and wanted to paint them, so why I choose this book is mainly to get techniques on how to do fur, facial features etc.
I wasn't very happy with my prior techniques, and abandoned my second oil painting to start this step by step process.
Although I still have trouble seeing some colours that a true artist would see, I did the best I could and posted my work in progress, of which I'm happy with for the moment (until I do something stupid to ruin it! lol)
Kalon's book taught me that it's okay to draw on the canvas with a graphite pencil in detail, then once done, seal it off with a fixant. You can see in the WIP the detailed drawing in pencil that has a fixant overlay, and a grey wash over it. The book also taught me to work in layers, so this picture is showing the undercoat layer that's just started.
I've always considered myself an okay drawer/sketcher in lead, but seeing colour was always a challenge for me, but I'm glad this book came along, because now I see a few colours I wouldn't normally have seen.
I'll keep you posted on the WIP once I get a bit further. I just have to pace myself and take my time. (I tend to rush things very often!)
Cheers everyone.

02-19-2005, 07:31 PM
This looks like an excellent start. I don't know what media you have been using, but I switched about a year ago from acrylics to oils, and after a short adjustment period, I love the oils. My biggest hurdle was getting a cohesive pallette, which I used to solve by glazing, usually in transparent gold oxide, but sometimes other colors. I recently learned of a technique which has really helped, and allows me to apply color more confidently. That is, you mix a "mud" with any red, yellow, and blue. You'll get a dark grey or brown shade. Use this mud as a neutral in your painting, mixed with white as needed. Also, use a smidgeon of it in all your other colors. It really works to unify the painting! Perhaps you've heard this, but I found it invaluable.

Have fun developing your painting. My one suggestion would be not to be too tight, trying to make it look photographic. Loosen up and be painterly!

02-21-2005, 12:23 PM
Hi laynec
Thanks. I wasn't using anything before. I always wanted to try painting (be it watercolour, acrylics, or oils) but never had the time. Now I put time aside for myself and decided I was going to give my hand a try at this. I could somewhat scetch well enough, so it was just missing that colour aspect and I didn't want to use colour pencils.
Your techniques you mention in your post I haven't heard of, but will investigate about it at some point. I'm still learning the terms that artisist use when describing things. (Most times I have no idea what they're talking about! lol)
Anyhow, thanks for your comments!

02-25-2005, 02:16 PM
Slow progress. I work on it only when I'm in the mood, but here's what's done so far. The orange background is just a base colour, and not going to stay that colour.

02-25-2005, 06:47 PM
I'm pretty much ignorant when it comes to animals. Are these Husky dogs? Whatever I'll say your graphite skills are really paying off now you are painting with oils. The left hand nose seems a bit off to me and I like to see more of a blend. I'm wondering if you have put in a different background for simplicitys sake. Would the left hand animal be picking up some light from a snowy ground as it is, I mean on the throat fur. I might otherwise expect a slightly darker shadow. A small niggle to be sure.

I'm looking forward to seeing more work from you and feel certain that you are going to shoot ahead.


02-25-2005, 07:38 PM
Thanks Mikey. I'll post again once I get more done. I know it's hard to tell right now, but they are wolves. lol
What your seeing is an undercoat (far from being completed). I'm going to dry brush the entire painting once the undercoat is completed to show texture, and add in more shadows etc where they are needed. The nose does look off and will probably try to fix it a little, but once the dry brushing is applied to it (darker colours), it will come together (at least I'm hoping! :) ) I still need to fix that lip which I find a little repulsive right now, more detail in the eyes, and also complete the ears. Then it will be like starting over all again when I start the other wolf! lol

03-07-2005, 09:06 PM
I love this! you really have captured the beauty of these wolves! :clap: i have a suggestion:
what color will the second wolf be?? when i looked at this i looked at their eyes because eyes are always beautiful when animals are painted. if you could make the second wolf a grey or greyish white-you know...that kind of wolf-you could make the eyes blue and it would be so pretty!
just a suggestion!
cant wait to see the progress!


03-07-2005, 10:48 PM
Thanks for the suggestion Caitlin. The wolves are actually going to be more whitish with hints of grey. I'm doing a lesson from the book, so both wolves are going to be the same colour. Don't be deceived by what you see right now, as this is an undercoat. It's the dry brushing over top that undercoat that's going to change the whole appearance. The eyes are 1/2 done as well. They are going to be lighter in colour. I haven't had a chance to get to this as my father's taken ill, and I'm helping out around the house, but I plan on doing a bit more this coming week. I'll keep posting updates once I see something significant to post.

03-10-2005, 09:01 AM
Sure glad I stumbled across this thread. I think you're doing extremely well on this painting. Considering it's only your 3rd try with oils...I'd say you've got the nack!!
I'm a sucker for " in progress " threads ...finding them educational and full of tips and tricks. Yours is no exception.
I really love the tongue and teeth on the " left wolf " already.
Keep up the good work and I will look forward to your progress. Thanks for sharing the process with us....

I hope your Father is feeling better.

What are you painting on...canvas? It looks really smooth.


03-10-2005, 11:05 AM
This is going to be a beautiful painting!!! Looking forward to seeing your progress! :clap: