Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Coffee, Eggs, and Grapes" Oil on 6x6 inch panel

 I don't know what my trouble has been, but lately any time I try and paint, I wind up with something I'm not happy with.  I have a hard time controlling the paint, I eventually get frustrated and can't finish.   I set up this little still life and 1/2 way into painting it, I stopped and scraped it off, and decided to draw and sketch instead of trying for a finished painting.
Above is one of my quick sketches with pastel pencil on gray paper, and below is an 8x10 inch canvas panel, that I divided into 4 spaces.  In each space I tried something different.  In one square I drew the still life with pencil on the gessoed surface, and sprayed workable fixative over it. After it dried, I painted it in.  It was fun to do, but nothing that I thought made a big enough difference to me. And the paint is taking longer to dry in that square.   A couple other squares I toned with some thinned raw umber, once dry I wiped some linseed oil onto the panel before I painted.  That worked out ok, but I not a big difference there either.  Some where along the way I mixed some turpentine, linseed oil and stand oil together, and used that to thin my paint a bit while I painted and that helped!   And along the way I was also playing with the idea of only using black, burnt sienna, cad. yellow and white.   So,  I made little squares of mixtures I made with only those colors.  It was fun to see all the different shades I could mix, and how different a color looked depending on the white or toned background. The little rows of 3 on each side of the divided line mirror each other, they are the same colors.
 Finally after all of that playing around, I repainted my picture and was happy with how it worked out.   In the final painting, I used more colors than the limited palette.  


  1. It turned out great! But tell me about it, I've been wiping lots lately too; you are much more methodical than me. I need to study more carefully, and not be so chaotic. Can you describe why you liked the turps, linseed and stand oil mixture? I haven't experimented much, lately paint alone has been tough enough!
    Thanks Deb.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your struggle and your process. It is so nice to know I am not the only one who goes through this!

  3. Hey, come on, perhaps it's just the winter (just a few hours with proper light) that makes us tired and not very optimistic O:-)
    In the end you've managed it very well!

  4. I thank you for sharing your frustration and how you solved it. I go through similar periods so it is good to know other do too.
    The end result is fabulous and it is good that you were rewarded for your efforts.

  5. Thank you everyone! I was debating whether or not to make that long post, but now I'm glad I did, I see that I am not alone. Maybe it's a good thing that we have trouble every so often, maybe it leads to more experimenting and discovering new things!

  6. Wow, all the preliminary work really paid off. You created a beautiful painting here ... I admire your persistence!

  7. Debbie, I'm always enchanted with your paintings, they are real, pure and sweet, I don't know why but that's the way I feel about them; simply gorgeous. This one spoke deeply to my heart.


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