Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Barn Shadow - Water-Miscible Oils

"Barn Shadow"
5x7, oil

By now, everyone's probably tired of hearing about the wonderful weather we're having on Campobello Island. But I sure don't get tired writing about it! This morning, though, we had overcast and a raw wind...only to have the sun push it all away by noontime. So, our run of excellent weather continues.

The good weather is a bit frustrating, because I'm supposed to be tying up loose ends for our trip. Still, I snagged a few minutes to paint a little scene. It was mid-afternoon, and the three-story barn next door was casting a deep, dramatic shadow, creating a spectacular play of sunlit autumn colors. I particularly liked the partly-paved drive that crawls up the hill beside the barn, diving into shadow and then out again.

I used Grumbacher Max water-miscible oils (red, blue, yellow, black and white) for this one. I find these paints a bit stiff, and they get a little "clotty" when water is added to them for a wash. There are mediums one can use, but I want to keep things simple, so I don't use a medium. I add just a few drops of water and avoid washes. My traditional oils and brushes are all packed up, so this is what I'll be using until we leave on Saturday.


Robert Bissett said...

You're doing wonders with the three colors! I use that too most of the time. There is a 'thinner' medium made for water misc. paint. Can't remember which brand. I've written an extensive article about them on my website. http://buildart.com/secret_of_water_mixable_oils.htm

Nice painting. Bob

.R. Baldini said...

I like this one, Michael.
Simple is good...

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thanks, Bob and Jacq! Very helpful article, Bob!

Anonymous said...

I think the problem with the water-miscible oils is cold weather. They work fine in Florida in summer, but are difficult in winter. So keep the tubes warm. When you go out to paint, carry them in your shirt pocket, inside your jacket. If you paint from inside your car, rig up a heating pad with your cigar lighter and keep the tubes wrapped in the pad. Using hot water as your medium will help. When you go to the paint-outs, how on earth do you get your work dry enough to frame and exhibit in three or four days?? Are you using alkyds? Like your work!

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

I'll try that idea, thanks. As for the paint-outs, paintings are wet and easily damaged. I don't think many of the painters I've worked with use alkyds during the paint-outs; they use traditional oils, maybe with a little Galkyd added.