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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Little Oils, Big Adjustment


Honey and I went out a couple of times during the week, so we laid low this weekend. Cleaning drawers is never my idea of how to spend my time at home. Painting is.

This is the view outside my studio; it's not much in winter, but it's there and I have a clear view of the lake. The grays outside my window got me to get out a little canvas.

I bought a bunch of these six by eight canvas boards to use for studies of ears and whatnot. This weekend, I painted this whatnot to see if I could paint small. It's not that easy. I ran into big problems:

My whole arm wanted to move, not just my hand. My table top easel needed an adjustment. The little picture kept falling through the back--so I found a back to block the hole. The ledge was too deep; I found a metal frame side to fit the ledge. It's nice to have a lot of junk laying around the studio.

While oils wipe off the granite on my bar very nicely, the bar cannot be my oil station. I have a habit of holding the back of the cherry bar stool when I stand up to see how it's going. My hand left a mess. The paint wiped up just fine, but these stools are too fine to sacrifice no matter what the cause. Room for oils will be made in my studio space tomorrow. I'll also go looking for a piece of glass to use as a palette--something permanent that wipes clean--I'll back it with white contact paper.

Painting small in oils, was not a pleasant experience. It was messy and the results weren't that wonderful, though I liked painting the wooded scene with a stick. Effective.


  1. Hi LW
    I like this! This little painting "reads" well. To pull/see the colors that you did and the use of the markings makes this an interesting little jewel painted from such a commonplace subject. Ahhhh the eye of an artist-always seeing beauty.
    I too find it difficult to paint "small". I find myself making so much of every little detail.

  2. It's all in the details Steven. I used to be in the design/build business and it was the details that gave the job distinction. Same with paintings I think. indeed, it's the details that attracts me to a subject. what I like about painting the woods is the intersecting branches particularly interesting when they are bare. I guess I'm in love with line as well.

  3. The painting doesn't show any sign of all the stress it produced, came out very nice, lovely soft colors and I love all the branches. I also have difficulties in painting small specially with watercolors, not room enough to let the water flow :) Wish you a great week Linda!

  4. Hi Linda, in spite of all the troubles you had, I think you really did a very good job with this little painting. I like it! I like the colors and the winter atmosphere you have created. Ciao!

  5. Well Jane I didn't think painting small was going to be stressful till I tried it spur-of-the-moment with no thinking ahead. I discovered the pitfalls as they happened instead of anticipating them as a good designer would. Shame on me. --As for watercolor strokes on a small field: I read that the paper has to be on a large board so your strokes could continue off the page--if that is any help to you?

  6. God created the winter atmosphere Tito; I just painted what I saw. As for my problems, I had them because I didn't think the project out and had to find solutions as I went. My fault. --But I wasn't too eager to give a small painting another try on Sunday; I needed a rest. Drawing into the paint with the tip of the handle of the brush was the best tip I came away with.