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My Start into Oil!

About 6 months ago I started going to weekly art lessons with an amazing artist who specializes in portraits, Peter Garbera, The rush of excitement that I got from just signing up for classes was such an amazing feeling! It was that feeling of being so incredibly happy that you could cry. Peter is such a great teacher and he provides genuine compliments, but is always quick to point out where things can be improved. A lot of this is his Hungarian flavor that he brings to our lessons...he can be very direct. Sometimes we work the whole hour on just the bottom lip of a portrait! Up until now we have focused on sketches and shading. What I love about portraits is how just a mm can completely change a face. But this is what I really enjoy...the fine details. I can spend hours on a nose and be completely entranced. My favorite part of portraits is the hair. I LOVE making hair! The shadows, the highlights, the curls; when done they bring the portrait to life! From a self-discovery standpoint, portraits are great for people that are detailed oriented and, to some degree, have OCD. Portraits are hard. The lips and the nose are the hardest. I also find that side profiles are really difficult for me, but a mm change here and a highlight there eventually takes a generic look and makes the individual. It's beautiful! I take inspiration from one of my favorite podcasts...."We can do hard things" and have poured myself into learning how to draw portraits. I am very happy with my progress and have learned that we really can do anything that we put our mind to. Even though I have no training in art and haven't drawn anything since I was a kid, I am still able to learn the fundamentals and, with practice, improve my skills.

So, this week Peter and I started oil painting. I have never painted with oils but I am completely sold! Peter likes to use methods used by Holbein, which has been fun to dive into the history surrounding art. We stared out with creating a basic sketch, transferred it to a MDF board, and then covered it with polyurethane. This allowed us to cover the sketch with our paint (the first picture) and then create the image through taking away paint (second image). It was super cool! So the image is literally one color of paint, but varying amounts of thickness to create shading. Up until now I've only used acrylic and some watercolor. I really love that oil allows for it to stay wet longer and it's easy enough to correct mistakes in the painting. The drawback is the time. It takes a very long time for oil to dry so the process is slower, but the end product is amazing!

Thanks for joining me!

....maybe I need to think of a fun catch phrase...hmmm


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