I’ve always wanted to try oil painting so thought I’d buy a cheap set and have a go. I love it! At college I painted with acrylics (over 10 years ago!) which I always found slightly limiting due to how fast they dry. Oils allow you to take your time and rework, layer, blend and glaze the paint.

After reading a bit, I started with an underpainting of burnt umber, wiping off with a rag to create values. I then blocked in the colours roughly with a large flat brush. Finally I worked over the top with a smaller round brush to get some details in. I’ve left Jasper (my cat!) fairly light as I want to try glazing when the painting’s dried. Hopefully I can add to the depth and glow of Jasper, as well as making his colour closer to life.

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Video of the process from underpainting to now

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Oils have a characteristic look on the canvas, and carry a certain history and romance which is very appealing. It can take over a year to dry properly so require patience, which I usually find offers a more rewarding experience.  There’s loads of pigment and medium science to get into.

Even using the very cheap ‘simply’ range from Daler and Rowney, it was still enjoyable.  I bought a couple of tubes of Winton (the student grade oil paint from Winsor and Newton) and the quality was markedly better. I plan to work with Winton for the time being until I get better. I’ll buy the odd tube of more expensive paint as I go until I’ve found a pallette and brand I like. This will probably be over a number of years.

I’ll post my findings and experiences with the paint, and document my adventure as it unfurls.