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Old 06-06-2018, 11:00 AM
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mack-n-nc mack-n-nc is offline
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Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

...Just made my first attempt in oils...Total, and I mean total disaster...but that's another story...it seems I am missing a very basic piece of info...perhaps the most basic of all... As I have said, I have two and only two books on oil painting...I have watched maybe a dozen Bob Ross videos and perhaps two or three Bill Alexander ones...Now..on their palettes, the paint lies in 'puddle'...but it comes out of the tube like toothpaste. Do you spread it with the palette knife? Or does it, after a relatively brief period, lose it's adhesiveness and 'collaspe' in afore mentioned puddle...You guys who have been doing this a while....('while' in this case, defined as meaning you've done at least one painting...) I know this seems a stupid question above all other stupid questions, but if you do not have the info, it seems a lot less stupid, let me tell you...
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:22 AM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

Not a stupid question at all, very logical question for someone brand new to oils!


Most people who use oils work with something called a 'medium'. There are many of them, some very simple, some complex.

The primary purpose of a medium is to change the consistency of the oil paint, into something easier to work with.

A couple of other things they can do is slow down or speed up the drying process (as oils dry pretty slowly).

When you start using Medium, you have to start worrying about 'Fat over Lean', which is tough to grasp when you first start. (Do a google search, and see how confused you can get in 15 seconds flat).


I started with an Alkyd, specifically Winsow & Newton Liquin Original. If you use this same medium throughout your painting, you don't have to worry about Fat over Lean. As an added benefit (in my opinion), it speeds drying, and also gives your paint a nice glossiness when it dries.

Easy to use, once you have mixed the color you want, add just enough of this Liquin until the paint is the consistency that you want it to be.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:33 AM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

mack-n-nc is following the Bob Ross approach. so please correct me if I'm wrong here as I don't do that method-- but no medium is used. The "medium" is the wet white layer under the paint which I believe is rather oily in formula.

Mack it's very likely a matter of practice. It's a difficult way to work, not easy like Bob makes it look.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:34 AM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

For Bob I recall his paint is thick and stiff out of the tube most of the time..it may slump a bit after awhile and they might be under hot lights for filming..

He uses a bit from those piles to make his mixed colors in another area away from the clean paint pile and that can get spread out while mixing or when he makes a bead of paint on his knife..
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:52 AM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

Paint in the tube is concentrated, you need to make it more workable by mixing it with oil, or medium.

It is a little messy, but you can just lay your colors on your palette in a specific order, living an area for mixing before you actually put it on the canvas.

Trying to emulate or imitate Bob Ross to paint is a big mistake, he learned to paint, practiced, practiced. After he mastered that particular style, he then presented a show to the audience. This is what you see, you did not see or experienced what happened for the show to come to life.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:24 PM
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Ellis Ammons Ellis Ammons is offline
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalSaint
Winsow & Newton Liquin Original[/b]. If you use this same medium throughout your painting, you don't have to worry about Fat over Lean.
Nope You still have to worry about fat over lean. i.e. flexible over inflexible. Medium, including liquin makes paint more flexible. Each successive layer should be more flexible by adding more medium http://www.winsornewton.com/na/disco...nting-rules-us

As to the OP,. Ignore the nay sayers. Do whats in your heart. Did you know they even have a bob ross school? I'm not sure how Bob got the particular consistnecy of his paint. There is a bob ross medium for sale on blick. If you use it please realise it is toxic and you should read and follow the MSDS.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:25 PM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stapeliad
mack-n-nc is following the Bob Ross approach. so please correct me if I'm wrong here as I don't do that method-- but no medium is used. The "medium" is the wet white layer under the paint which I believe is rather oily in formula.

Mack it's very likely a matter of practice. It's a difficult way to work, not easy like Bob makes it look.
Yep, following the BR methods, even to the point of using Bob Ross brand paints...(made by Martin, btw)...but again, in his videos, Ross has his paints on the palette, in 'puddles' of various sizes, (guess that depends on the amount he plans on using...) not 'toothpaste straight from the tube' round lumps... While painting he does indeed mix various paints on the palette, and even in his brush...so what I am wondering....is the puddles..does he, or rather did he, (since he has been dead for almost 25 years) flatten the 'lumps' with his palette knife? Or?? (and yes I am aware that there are 'Bob Ross painting classes and schools..."
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:45 PM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Ammons
Nope You still have to worry about fat over lean. i.e. flexible over inflexible. Medium, including liquin makes paint more flexible. Each successive layer should be more flexible by adding more medium http://www.winsornewton.com/na/disco...nting-rules-us

I suppose that was a bit of a wreckless statement (especially when talking about Fat over Lean, bit of a landmine topic, heh). It was just my effort in keeping the topic from becoming too complex for a new user of oil paint. I have read tons of these threads, and they still kind of blow my head up a bit.

I am definitely no expert. What I should have said (or meant to say), was that you can worry less about Fat over Lean when using Liquin. Primarily because to my understanding, Liquin retains more flexibility than many other mediums even when dried. Added to that, the layers touch-dry so fast, that *typically* one is going to find it more difficult to lay down a faster drying layer on top of a layer that is not already fairly (touch) dry.

Were I to make my suggesting a bit more complex, it would be to say to always attempt to use the same ratio of Liquin to paint, and ensure that your previous layer is fully touch-dry before adding another layer.

Using this medium and method, I have not had any issue with fat over lean.

I now use a different medium recipe (Thanks to Bill), so I have to worry about that more.


I would add for the OP, that Liquin does have an Impasto formula as well, though I have not tried it myself. I don't know much about Ross' method, but just from looking/watching, I would strongly guess that he is using a medium of some kind, to get the consistency to the paint that he has. (Either that, or the specific paint that he used, already had that consistency due to whatever binder it used).
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:21 PM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

I used to shudder at the amount of paint he put on his palette for his 30 minute show. I mean each puddle was £2 worth of paint. His paint was quite expensive compared to Winton say. So pretty much £20 worth of paint squeezed onto his Rembrandt sized perspex palette. It taught me a lesson. Never scrimp on paint. Thanks Bob for that invaluable lesson
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:54 PM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

That's the usual experience. The first try in oils is a nightmare.

I was an experienced painter in acrylics, watercolors and so on when I tried my first oil painting. I wish I had a picture of it. Hopefully it's safe in my storage back in Chicago.

Anyway, I used too thick of a couch of linseed oil (that's just a layer of medium applied to the canvas, board, or paper) and I got all of these cracks that night. The oil sort of floated the drying oil paint on the canvas and made cracks like in a dried riverbed.

I smoothed over some and I left others. It was a painting of my great grandfather inventor. The cracks resembled electricity to me.

My advice to you is to find out about painting in layers. Some people use many layers, I sometimes just use a layer of medium and a layer of paint. Layering can be that simple and it's powerful.

I use thick paint and paint more expertly into a well made couch now. It's the way to go. It's similar to painting watercolors wet-into-wet. It allows you to work more creatively, make huge corrections, make subtle passages of color. It's painting at it's finest. I even used this skill when I taught children how to paint with tempera.

Also, you need to use the right paint brush for the job. You need hoghair brushes for thick paint and sable or synthetic brushes for watery paint.

I used to have hundreds of brushes but now I go for the cheapest hoghair brush sets and the versatility of the #12 nylon round brush (esp watercolors) never ceases to amaze me.
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:46 PM
JaeBeam JaeBeam is offline
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

First, read the following post:

https://www.reddit.com/r/HappyTrees/...were_watching/

Then watch the following video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEQW...Ge_fbTu5ajt8DQ

Then I'd watch Grandeur of Summer (linked in the first link above)

Then I'd paint Grey Winter

Post your results, I'd be interested. (Mine: https://imgur.com/yoBODkc)
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:01 PM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaeBeam

Wow, it's been a bit. But those are some pretty stiff piles of paint he has on his palette! I retract my former statement, that looks most definitely straight from the tube.


Edit: Just frickin crazy how much watching this makes me smile uncontrollably. Hah.
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Last edited by CynicalSaint : 06-06-2018 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:08 PM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

When I first started paintng I took many classes from a BR certified instructor. She taught us to plunk down a pile of paint then put the knife into the pile a little ways back and smear the paint forward. So you would have a large pile and the front would be pulled out mostly flat.

Not sure if this answers your question.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:25 PM
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Really Stupid Question, or Maybe Not, Depending On Your Point of View. . .

One places a squeeze for paint atop the palette. After
that’s dried, one puts more atop, and after a while one
has huge mounds of paint atop one’s palette.
It “loses it’s adhesiveness” when the oil’s dried, at which
point one ought’ve squeezed mo’ out (One hardly de-
sires paint with dried, or semi-dried paint.).
“Collapsin’ piles”?!!. . .
r
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:24 PM
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Re: Really stupid question, or maybe not, depending on your point of view...

I sooo love Bob and Bill (who taught me landscape painting via imagination and textures). Bob also seemed hypnotic, compassionate, kind, and blessed. He took Bill's techniques to the 'next level'. He seemed to praise God, imho.

Bob somehow knew his "bushes & sticks" anatomy. (He admitted incompetence with human anatomy)

He painted from imagination and applied textures:

Let's see, IIRC:

--He couched his entire canvas with (glossy) linseed-thinned white for wet on wet.
--I don't recall him ever using tubed black paint.
--He did not mix-with-medium, iirc ... just 'mounds of paint mixed with paint'
--He used his palette knife to mix and apply Weber's (Permalba) stiff-but-buttery paint ... some of which contains plenty of oil already.
--He (and Bill) used the large knife immensely ... with stunning impasto, imho.

--He also used his (same) linseed-saturated 'jar' "thin" white (magic white?) (worth buying at Hobby Lobby) to knife-scumble over thicker paint

==> happy accidental textures (like natural rocks, mountains, etc.)
(He may have mixed 'some' warm or cool paint to this "thinner white" ... on his mega-palette ... while somehow not spilling it ... during the show)

--And he skim-scumbled such paint boldly ... as have his apprentices.

--In sum:
(1) Magic-oily-White Couching ==>
(2) Thick-tube paint ... brushed or impasted: lean into fat ==>
(3) skim-scumbling thin paint atop some of the lean paint ... iirc

Utmost blessings!
Philip

Last edited by Docpro : 06-06-2018 at 08:31 PM.
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