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Old 01-21-2012, 05:49 PM
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Smile Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Class is now in session.

Here how this is going to go. I will explain how to do it and give you some resources to work from and then you can post your work and we will all learn from you triumphs. This is not a demo though. It is instruction.

I will explain how I got into oil painting after working 18 years as an illustrator. I did airbrush, color pencil, water color, mixed media and just about everything except oil painting. All those colors just intimidated me.

So I started with working mostly with 3 colors plus white. The big part of oil painting is figuring out how to get to the color you want.

You will need 3 colors and white. Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Indian Yellow or another yellow that is transparent. All these colors are transparent so you can mix up very deep colors or add white and mix very light colors. You can get very deep even black dark values and with white get some very light values.

Sure there are lot of colors you can't make from these but it will get you started.

Here is a reference for our project.



This is a simple still life with one light source and near by surface (see the blue in the corner) that is reflecting light back into the subject. Once you truly understand the principles of the light that are represented here, you can learn to paint anything and make it look real.

Here is the same reference in B&W


First thing is do a monochromatic painting or even a pencil drawing of this reference. For the monochromatic painting use the colors I mention and mix a muted purple/gray. No white just the colors.

I will explain more later but get started if you can.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:40 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Thanks for offering to do this, Jim. Now I go find where I left my oil paints so I can join in....
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:34 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

I'm not sure if it matters what type of support to use? I got some panel canvas and a masonite board last night. I'll pick up the paint Monday when I go to work. Can't wait to get started with this. Thanks Jim for putting in the time to help us learn
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:39 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Alright! I am so excited to see this, Jim! I'm going to stick it so we can all keep track and follow along. I was going to ask about a support...does it matter? I'll be going to Michael's tomorrow, so I'll pick up the paint colors I'll need and anything else.

Do you recommend a particular type of brush/brushes? I'm pretty inexperienced in the painting world, so any tips will be very helpful. Thank you for being willing to share this, Jim. It is very much appreciated!
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:45 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

K.. I'm on board.. Will start on it Monday.. Church tomorrow. Thanks Jim!
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:28 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Support: Canvas pad, canvas board or some type of hard surface that has been gessoed.

Brushes: Brights or flats. Any kind of bristle, hair or synthetic is ok to start. Now my preference would be at least a natural bristle. What I use are mongoose brights and some hog bristle. I use a small round brush for small details but you don't really need it to start. If you were to just buy 4 or 5 brushes they should be about 1/8 inch wide up to 5/8 inch wide.

The mongoose is softer than hog but a bit stiffer than sable. This detail shows what you can do with a mongoose brush painting wet into wet. You can blend one color into another by dragging it over an adjacent color.


To clean brushes and thin the paint if needed us OMS Odorless Mineral Spirits. Gamblin makes the mildest most odorless around if you are sensitive to that kind of stuff.

For your monochromatic painting mix up one pile of paint and use that same mix for the whole painting. Paint it heavy for the darkest values and thin it a bit and brush it on light for the lighter values. If you get too dark dip your brush in oms and wipe the paint off.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:53 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

ah.. this is going to be of great value.. AND I GOTTA MISS IT!!! DANG..
Maybe I can play catch up later.. but it will be great fun to watch this....
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:12 AM
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Thank you Jim,

you just kicked my motivation in the right direction, im all in
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:35 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Thank you for the great information, Jim. This is going to be a very educational experience for me. The weather sounds pretty iffy today, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get to the art store. Hope to soon so I can get started.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:18 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Jim, I used paper canvas and I forgot that these particular colors are dyes. The paper soaked it right in, esp around the napkin. I could not get it to lighten. Should I do it over?
Oh Oh.. Forgot about the dress code! Gots to go pull on my cowgirl boots! . (btw I like the title!)
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:18 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

okay Oil painters, I need a bit of help. I don't know a transparent yellow from a hole in the ground so this is what I got today: Ultramarine Blue, Perm Alizarin Crimson and Lemon Yellow Hue. Is that okay, or do I need to make a run to the art store?
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:07 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Catherine, I figured you would rip right into this. Great job! I don't know how absorbent canvas paper is but these color do stain. Very good on the getting the values. The weakest point I see is in the proportions of the drawing. It is like you are looking at a more elevated view than the actual reference. I will write more later. You are going to do fine.

Donna, somewhere on the tube it should say if the paint is opaque or transparent or even semi-transparent. If it is opaque you are going to have a tough time mixing as dark as you may need. You can always give it and see how it works, if a trip to your art store is a big trip. If it is transparent you can mix it with the ultramarine, a scoosh of red and get a deep black.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:19 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

it doesn't say anything on it about transparency, just lightfastness. It's W&N , brand and I smeared a little around on a scratch piece of paper and it seems a little transparent, but I think I may make use of the gift card my hubby got me at the art store to pick up a few things
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:08 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Donna, WN makes a color Indian Yellow Deep. I know that is transparent. Since they have an Indian Yellow Deep then if they have an Indian Yellow it is probably same as the deep but with opaque white added. So don't get that one.

Gamblin makes Indian Yellow. That is what I use and it is totally transparent. And it says so on the tube like it should.

I know this paint stuff can be confusing because the color with the same name can be quite different among different brands.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:52 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

I made it to the art store the yesterday and got the supplies, but they did not have Indian Yellow, so I asked for some help and said I needed a transparent yellow. The man helping me suggested Cadmium Yellow Light. Will this work?

I had a couple of projects to finish up in my studio today, so I haven't had a chance to start yet, but I hope to tomorrow if possible.
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