Sunday, September 25, 2011

Experiencing Oils...Ladies Night

Good morning and happy Sunday! We are headed to church soon (and it is Paul and my 12th anniversary today) but I thought I'd share some quick pics of a Ladies Night Out Oil painting class I took on Friday at Cordovan Art School at Jerry's Artarama in Austin. I'm not signed up for any regular classes, but I bought a cheap deal ($10, I think it was?) to this ladies night, so I picked the oil class since I'd never worked with them before (have almost zero painting experience, ironic since my grandfather was an oil painter). Here is my little set up before we got started and a photo of the painting we were supposed to complete in 2 hours.And here is the finished canvas! It's tiny, about 8" x 10" and has a large gallery wrap on the sides, so I painted the edges too. What I didn't know until later is that oil takes almost two weeks to dry, yikes, makes it hard to handle find a place to dry! (I finally decided on top of the fridge to keep all the little hands around here out of it, the waves may already have one or two fingerprints, it's really tempting to touch, hee hee!)
Here is a closeup. The teacher had just the teeniest hint of a mast on the horizon in her painting so I added a little sail and two birds to mine. These little details are SO small, but it's probably my favorite part of the painting because it draws you in to check them out. Not crazy about how bright the colors came out, but it was my first time to mix oil paints, amazing how many different colors you add to create a more muted tone. I preferred the finished work of most of the other students to my own, but it seemed like that was how most people felt, preferring someone else's work to what they were doing. Although a few women said they'd done a few ladies nights there before, I think most had little to no experience painting, so I feel pretty comfortable saying anyone could do a very fair job of this their first time with the instructor going step by step. I'd been told before (by painters) you don't need to be able to draw to paint, and while it certainly helps to be comfortable with seeing colors and shapes, now that I've done it, I believe that to be pretty true. Everyone seemed to like the texture I got on my waves and how impressionistic the clouds looked. (Impressionism has always been one of my favorite painting styles) Because it's still drying flat, I haven't been able to hang it up and view it from a distance for a different perspective.

I have to say I enjoyed the knife work, tapping the back of the palette knife into a mound of paint and pressing it onto the canvas to create the little peaks. But, I think I'll stick with drawing, you know?! (I think perhaps I might have been happier with my results if I'd painted from a real scene rather than trying to recreate someone else's scene, seeing what the waves really look like when they are crashing, etc, but hey, who wouldn't rather be on the beach painting than in an art room, LOL! I may take another class, I would like to learn some watercolor background techniques I saw in samples of their other classes, some that used salt, which I think would be really terrific when applied to cardmaking. :)

Just wanted to share. (I finished SEVEN new stamp sets this week, which of course I cannot yet share, but squeal, you will like! So I've really been getting my "draw" on!) Try something new this week! Expand yourself and your experience!

Hugs and God bless,


  1. Hi Melanie! I think you did a Great job, your painting is lovely!! Wow, 7 new stamp sets??? Looking forward to see these...
    Happy Anniversary!! Have a lovely day!

  2. I think your painting turned out beautiful!

  3. I think it is beautiful! Great job and I love the little boat and the birds too! Anxiously awaiting your new stamp sets!

  4. I like your painting. One of the keys to enjoying your work is to NOT go back and look at the inspiration piece, unless you are painting from nature or people, you know, you don't want to ignore them. ;) My father painted with oils, and I can't do squat with a brush. So, I know how hard you worked and am impressed with your finished painting. I'd hang it on my wall! :)

  5. I too think your painting is awesome Mel! I dabbled with oils back about 20 years ago and loved working with them, but hated that drying time too! I love being able to see the brush strokes!

  6. wow Melanie, this is awesome painting. :)

  7. Congratulations on your anniversary Melanie! Great that you tried the oil painting. Personally I think you did a great the sailboat and birds too!

  8. Great Job!! 7 stamps, YEAH. I really think you are being too hard on yourself, the painting is really very nice. Especially your first try.

  9. Oh wow, Mel - this is terrific! I love oil painting, but end up making a genuine mess since it takes so long to dry. Now, I do acrylic and watercolor with very *limited* expectations. LOL! Cannot wait to see what you have up your sleeves for us.
    Hugs! ~ky


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