Oil on canvas panel, 6″x8″ (Larger)
We’re expecting a series of big storms for the next week but the weather today was comfortable, no wind and in the 50s. Although I’ve been working on another painting and wanted to keep going on it, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get outside and paint before the storm hits.
I headed down to nearby Pt. Isabel, an enormous park along the bay that is designated as an off-leash dog park. It has spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge but smog, fog and clouds made the visibility so bad that I picked a closer view.
I’m really excited about the breakthrough I had yesterday with oil painting, and how I was able to apply it to this little painting. Up until yesterday I’d been using various oil painting mediums to thin the paint and what I kept ending up with was thin, washed out, chalky, greyed, paint; stickiness and smell from alkyd mediums and smell (and toxins) from turpentine. I’d heard people say they used little to no medium and I couldn’t understand how that was possible. It seemed like the paint would be too thick and hard to manipulate without first thinning it down.
I finally tried it and was shocked to discover it works! Of course it means using a lot more paint, especially on this coarser canvas, but I was able to put down one layer of paint, and leave it. If I made a mistake I could scrape the paint off of that section and repaint it, no problem. Before when I tried to do that, there wasn’t really anything to scrape off because my paint was sooooo thin.
I did this painting in about an hour. I know the dogs look a little dorky, but it’s just a little oil sketch, so who cares. Then I was able to go home and continue working on the painting in progress in my studio. That painting is almost finished and I’m just so excited that after all the work and study I’ve put into oil painting it at last feels as if I’m getting somewhere. And I still have 5 more days of vacation!