Project One: Up Close

I thought it would be interesting to use this blog to track the ‘creative process’ in my art classes. I have experience in watercolours and – to a limited degree – acrylics, but had never wielded an oil paint in anger before this course, so this is really a record of my early efforts – and mistakes.

Our first major project was to do a series of studies of objects up close before settling on one theme to develop into an oil painting (ulp). Firstly some warming up with still life, to get my arm back in… a damaged wicker ball (pencil) and an oil lamp (charcoal) retrieved from the props cupboard in the studio.



Then a small painting of a pepper, just to get a feel for how oil paints actually work…




We then had to focus in on studies for what would become our oil painting. I wanted to do something with reflections, so thought about that old staple, the wine bottle, but instead opted for a full plastic bottle of mineral water as the bottle is far more interesting, with ridges and curves. So here are three studies in charcoal from different angles



The next stage was to do a very thin first draft of a painting of the subject. I realised the most interesting aspect to me was the reflections in the bottle itself.



I then revisited it in the next session a week later to paint over the top with a much darker/thicker layer, correcting some of the issues with the first draft. Fairly happy with it overall, a bit ‘pop art’ and the perspective on the bottle gets a bit lost at bottom left. Either that or I can claim someone had stepped on the bottle…..

Overall I did enjoy the way oil seems more maleable than acrylics. The drawback is it takes a week to dry and you can’t paint over the top of it until then…



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