View Full Version : Santa Barbara Beach Bike

Brenda Y
08-27-2009, 11:29 PM
I am new to wm oils, having only painted 2 landscapes before this painting. I have been painting with watercolors for 3 years and am so accustomed to drawing and painting and being able to see the graphite lines. With oils, the lines get buried and I find it extremely difficult to just PAINT. Having said that, does anyone have any tips for maintaining or preserving the drawn lines?! This bike was very hard for me, so be kind with your critique :o

08-28-2009, 06:50 AM
Lovely painting! You can use fixative to maintain your drawing lines. I like the bike. Your whole painting has a painterly approach that I love.:)

Brenda Y
08-28-2009, 09:32 AM
Thank you. I painted the wall first and that's when I lost the lines I had drawn for the bike. I suppose I should not have painted over those lines. I forgot to mention that this is painted on Yupo. I'm always game for experimentation and have had a love/hate relationship with Yupo and watercolors for a little over a year. The Yupo gives the ms oils a glazed look.

08-28-2009, 09:49 AM
Oh I see what your saying. Yup I paint over my lines often. What I found worked is making sure your brush has a chiseled edge and use a mall stick or other ways to steady your hand. Work up to the line carefully and try to use thinner paint in those areas. It takes practice and I'm still working on it. Yupo that sounds interesting. Forgive my ignorance but is that a type of paper?

Brenda Y
08-28-2009, 11:02 AM
Good tips about using thinner paint up close to the lines -- I'll try that. And, oh my yes, it's hard to keep a steady hand. I'm using a table top easel and then I put both elbows on the table and hold my right wrist with my left hand, it helps but is perhaps not as good as a mal stick.
Yupo is plastic sheets. A few artists are using it with watercolors. It's rather like painting on glass and has no texture (very slippery!) it also is not porous so the paint truly SITS on top of the surface resulting in more vibrant color. It comes in sheets or in pads, I use pads. This one is 9 x 12, but I also use 11 x 14 pads. Here's one of my favorite Yupo artists (in fact I took a workshop from him last October at the Pasadena Art Expo) http://www.watercoloryupo.com/

Stoy Jones
08-28-2009, 11:46 AM
This is nicely done, I really like the color! I'm like you when it comes to drawing as opposed to painting. I'm new at this too and I'm no expert, but one thing I notice that helps me is paint light and sharp, like a pencil. As I go thicker, break up the sharpness with the brush, sometimes moving in the opposite direction of the line. The subject or drawing never really disappears if the strokes sit on top what is beneath, if that makes any sense.

Try drawing a straight horizontal line in thinned paint over an area of thinned paint of another color and value. Use a filbert or flat and go over that line with a more loaded brush and do short vertical strokes across that line and you will see a more painterly line that is still there in a sense. Whole areas can be done that way too.

Should I lose a little of the subject's size, I sometimes draw in paint a little larger, so when my strokes might chip away at an area as I work thicker, I don't lose much in proportion of that subject. Just some first-timer observations that may or may not help. I do like the way you use color, so I hope you stick with it.

Brenda Y
08-29-2009, 11:41 AM
Thanks for you input. I had to read it twice for it to "sink in" - but I think I get it!
Much of my problem is wrapping my brain around "oils" instead of "watercolors!" Two very different methods. Plus, I'm using Yupo and I don't know of anyone else who is trying WM Oils on Yupo. It's MUCH different than canvas!! But I'm loving the challenge and loving the ability it gives me to get a very slick texture when I want.
I'm laying in an undercoat that is very watered down (almost watercolorish) and my drawn lines show clearly through this layer. When that is completely dry, I'm proceeding with the painting. This entire sheet was underlaid with a mix of burnt sienna and azo yellow deep -- it was very thin, very smooth. It is the color you see under the darker mix on the wall. This enabled me to get a good stucco look to the wall. All in all, I'm having a blast combining some watercolor techniques and using Yupo. I have a pad of translucent Yupo that I didn't care for with watercolors, so I'm using it up -- these practice paintings aren't masterpieces and it's a good way to use up a support I don't care for - ha ha.

08-29-2009, 07:01 PM
If I am working on a subject that has tricky or complicated lines, I just trace the initial drawing before I apply any paint. That way I've always got a template if I need it, and it saves time. I don't often need them, but knowing they are there takes the pressure off. And it makes it easier to copyright the design itself, if/when you register copyright.

Brenda Y
08-30-2009, 12:15 AM
Very good tip! I've photocopied drawings that I was preparing to watercolor -- but did them in case I wanted to re-paint them. It would be quite easy to scan, photo, or trace before oil painting, don't know why that thought didn't occur to me!

08-30-2009, 02:06 AM
Hi Brenda,
One comment about getting a mahl. I just bought a 3/4 wooden dowel and rest one end against the outer edge of the canvas or drawing board if I'm using a flexible paper and cradle the rest of the dowel in my non-painting arm. The crease of my elbow and hand keep the mahl firmly in place. That way, I'm free to rest my painting hand on it and I don't have the end of the dowel in any painted area.

As far as the drawing part. I tend to do all the background painting first rather than wasting time on the detail that will be in the foreground like your bike. Then I let the canvas dry for a few days.

Then I take a soft pastel pencil (not oil pastels) and draw in the detail very lightly so I don't disturb the partially dried paint and yet get the lines I need. Then I do the under painting of the detailed object within the lines which will disappear into the under painting as I go. I try to use a color that will be visible, but will not be disruptive to the color WS oil I am putting over it...Does any of this make sense to you??? I hope so. Experiment with it. That's how I learned a lot of what I know now. Every painting is an experiment and a challenge.

08-30-2009, 05:34 AM
Nice complementary colours, the blue and orange.

I use the 'fat over lean' technique. Painting the whole drawing in a thinned (lean) out paint in the colours I will be using.
When this is completed you can look for anything that looks out of place or out of proportion. You can then fix it better
when you start applying your thicker (fat) layers of paint over the lean. This gives you the option to rectify any
mistakes by 'negative' painting around them, I find its easier to negative paint around fiddly bits as well then put the finer
detail in last.

Like Judy, I also paint the background first. Hope this is of any help to anyone........

Brenda Y
08-30-2009, 09:31 AM
Judy and Marie,
GREAT tips! Thank you very much!! I've taken note of all the fine suggestions on this thread and am reminded again of just how wonderful WetCanvas is.
I have a much less fussy painting on my easel now - :lol: It's a sunset with limited and easy foreground. I'm in southern CA and our current fires, which can be so devastating, are giving us some vibrant sky colors. You can check out my flickr for a few photos! I've also got several photos from local friends -- amazing stuff!! I may be doing sunsets/sunrises for a while.

08-31-2009, 09:16 AM
Wow, I checked out your sunset pictures. They're really beautiful but scarry. I hope that you'll be safe from any threat of fire. You definitely have some fantastic choices for paintings.

Here is an Arizona Sunrise I painted outside Tucson where I live in the winter.


Brenda Y
08-31-2009, 02:09 PM
Judy, The fire has grown tremendously overnight, but we are not in danger. It is 15 miles from us now and we are the community staging many evacuation centers, even for livestock (which is pretty much the "norm" for us)

09-01-2009, 08:33 AM
I'll keep you and all that are having to be evacuated in my prayers. Judy

09-01-2009, 09:38 AM
Oh my Brenda! I'll be praying too! :)