Author: Greg Smith

Evvie in Oils – A Christmas Present Commission

In November I was delighted to be commissioned to paint my friends’ beautiful daughter for their Christmas present.  This was one of two Christmas commissions I had last year so I’ve been pretty busy! The reference photo was great with directional lighting and lots of interesting colours in the background. I tried to create a focal point on her eyes and mouth, making the paint strokes larger and less detailed as I got further from this area. View this post on Instagram 👆scroll to see the painting process. 12” x 18” oils on board . . . #artsy #paint...

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Logging Cobs – Oil Painting on Board

Whilst out on a walk in our local woods, we came across this chap and his magnificent horses demonstrating traditional logging methods. I took a number of photos of him in the hope of getting one I wanted to paint. Fortunately I got one that I liked. I’ve approached this painting in a slightly different way to my usual paintings. Starting with a wash of raw umber, I then scrubbed in dry paint and rubbed some off until I’d created quite a more detailed than usual under painting. View this post on Instagram Bit more detail added and the...

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Yoda in Oils on Board

A friend asked me recently for a painting of Yoda to hang on his office wall. I love Star Wars (who doesn’t?) so was happy to be given the opportunity. I started with a raw umber under painting, using my favourite new dry brush technique, smudging and wiping away highlights with a cotton bud. This feels a bit like drawing with charcoal, just a bit stickier! It allows for a lot of experimentation without building up a thick layer of paint. View this post on Instagram Here's the rough block-in underpainting. This is raw umber oil paint applied dry...

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Winter Walk – Oil on Board

I took the reference photo for this painting during a family walk in the woods around Christmas on a cold, misty, yet sunny day. The light was unbelievable with the mist acting as a huge diffuser for the sun. I ended up with a few photos that I want to paint, this being the first. The painting itself had been a bit of a struggle. I blocked it in with paint that was overly thinned with mineral spirits which, on reflection, was a mistake.  It was a bit soupy and loose which I found difficult to create any texture...

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Varnishing an oil painting for the first time

Varnishing is yet another aspect of painting that is rife with differing opinions and practices. Some people wait over a year before varnishing, others 3 months, some 1 month. Some don’t think varnishing is necessary at all with modern oil paints. When I painted a coffee pot recently, I decided at the beginning that it would be a good one to try varnishing. The subject is shiney which I figured could only be enhanced by a gloss varnish. Varnishing is also supposed to restore the original richness of blacks and darks in the painting, so I used a black...

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