Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oil Paint? Have You Got A Couple of Extra-Strength Aspirins?


Having found that untouched beginner's set of oil paints I bought for some reason or another the other day, I decided to try them out while on break. The last time I painted with oils was forty something odd years ago! I stopped because they stunk. Pure headache.

I was on break from Baby and wanted to do something different, something colorful. I had a canvas that I had used to experiment with some water soluble oil paints; so I pulled it out along with the reference photos and went to work. If you look closely at this crude beginning, you can see the eyes and some lines from the first painting in the little girl's face. She still needs a lot of work. But my nose was stuffing up and my head was starting to ache.

Even though I had an odorless solvent, my objection to oil paint after an hour of use remained the same: They give me a throbbing sinus/allergy headache. They stink. I used to think it was the turpentine, but it's the paint too. Too bad. The finish is beautiful. I didn't build up much coverage, but I did correct the previous drawing to a point so should I get the appropriate brushes and tackle this little portrait again, I'll be closer to a likeness. Meanwhile the painting is back on a shelf drying--however long that's going to take?

Thinking about why I chose to take the chance of getting ill, I concluded: I see Le Nourrisson, (the infant),(nice title. better than Baby),done in oils. The obscure line between the two needs smear.

I checked this trial painting before I sat down here with my coffee this morning and the darks picked up--I used the odorless solvent as the thinning medium making me think old fashioned turpentine may have been a faster drying agent? No way. Acrylics first. Oils where needed.

14 comments:

  1. That smell gives me a headache too. That being said, I can't wait to see your finished painting :-)

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  2. wow ---great start! will you keep going?
    I have a lot of friends who are sensitive to oil and mediums. I'm lucky to not have any of those sensitivities. Last time I painted in a group one of the women wore a mask (she is a pastelist with a sensitivity to pastel!)
    I'll be watching to see if you go further. So good thus far!

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  3. I'll be on canvas by next week Agnes. But who knows how that's going to go?

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  4. I kept thinking about you Celeste as I was struggling with the medium you own. I appreciate your "so good, so far". Yes, I think I will keep at it. I didn't think of using a mask. I have them. Great idea! Thanks again.

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  5. A great start to this painting, but I know what you mean about oils - stink! Although they don't make me feel poorly, but I have found Atelier Interactive Acrylics better, no smell, easy to clean up and best of all work creamy like oil. Just thought I'd say.

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  6. Really--that's very exciting Ann. I am about to order paint--I think I'll
    I try them. I'm getting tired of having my spray bottle ready in my left hand for when ever I wanted to blend a line. Thank you for passing that information on.

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  7. I stopped by to check on the baby and I find a child. I like this painting a lot.

    I've been struggling with water soluble oils for the past week (my oil painting classes were almost 50years ago). Let's see, I've tried watercolor, acrylics, open acrylics, pastels, oil pastels, pencils, and charcoal--now back to oils. I've decided my problem is not the medium--it's just me--maybe once a sculptor, always a sculptor.

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  8. This little girl is so pretty, there is already a good resemblance , keep it up Linda. I agree with you on the horrific smell, after a while it gives me headache too. For sure the 'fumes' can't be very healthy.

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  9. You know Hallie, you've got something there. With sculpture, you've got three dimensions; you're dealing with real space. It's hard to carve space into a two dimensional plane with any paint medium. --I loved your bug hug painting. Superb. I'm sorry I missed it when you published. I'm too hung up on this figure painting thing.

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  10. I had to take the whole day off today Jane. My headache wouldn't quit in spite of aspirin and flushing out my sinuses. Then, the painting wasn't even tacky when I touched it this morning. So I put in a half hour on the baby and went to the movies. I intend to finish that little painting though. I do like the look of oils and the little girl is family, so I will persevere.

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  11. Well I got to hand it to you - stepping out of your comfort zone again. It is coming along, but make sure you keep the place well-ventilated. Don't have to worry about that with acrylics or watercolor.

    I used to dabble in oils years ago - no lessons, but I got by. I actually loved the smell, the feel of it. I loved flake white - don't know if there is an equivalent in acrylics - it had this rough texture I just loved. Oil felt substantial, and I never had the same feel with acrylics. Until the picture I am working on now (fingers crossed).

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  12. Very nice and expressive paint of this girl. She is more sad than the reality, but she has a big expression.
    Ciao, Floriana

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  13. Hi Linda,

    The portrait looks great, can't wait to see it completed. I know what you mean about the oils. Make sure your room is ventilated. As for the acrylics, give the Golden Open Acrylic paints. I love them when not painting in oils. They last on the palette longer than you would expect. The feel is just like oil paint without the dangerous fumes.

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  14. It`s coming along fine Linda. Can`t wait to see the completed portrait. All the best Linda.
    Vic.

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