Thursday, May 30, 2013

How To Paint Forest Sunset on Canvas

Came Across a Very Good Video:



How To Paint Forest Sunset on Canvas

Watch it..




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Oil Paint on Canvas



Steps

Purchase good quality oil painting materials, the best you can afford. If you're just starting out, you can find many of these things by looking at gift sets that include all or most of them, sometimes in a nice wooden storage box or a table easel. What you will need at a minimum is:
    • A stretched canvas the size of the painting you would like to do. It's a good thing to also purchase several small "canvas boards" for practice and preliminary studies. You can also use canvas paper or canvas that comes in pads, as long as they say they're suited for oil painting and are gessoed. Try to choose a small board with the exact proportions of the stretched canvas but if it's not, get one larger so that you can mark up that shape on it.
    • Tubes of oil paint in a basic palette. If you're purchasing a set, it probably has all the most essential colors. The smallest essential palette has red, blue, yellow, Burnt Sienna and a large tube of white. If it's Winsor and Newton open stock, get Lemon Yellow, Permanent Rose and Ultramarine or French Ultramarine (they are chemically close.) If it's choosing primaries out of a set with more colors, use Alizarin Crimson or whichever the more purple cast red is, not the orange red. You could do without the Burnt Sienna but there's a reason for it besides mixing. If your set doesn't have it, use the reddish brown.
    • Buy the oil and thinner. Linseed oil is a traditional oil painter's medium. Some artists like walnut oil better. If you want your painting to dry faster, choosing a medium like Winsor & Newton's "Liquin" will make the oil painting dry faster. You will also need turpentine, or odorless turpentine substitute, sometimes called turpenoid, or white mineral spirits. This is a thin liquid that has a strong or slight odor, it's paint thinner as opposed to a medium. Odorless thinners like turpenoid are healthier to use, but always have proper ventilation when using thinner. The oils are not toxic and can be used anywhere.
    • Buy some removable artist grade varnish such as Damar varnish intended for oil paintings. Varnish will probably have some toxic fumes and should be applied outdoors or in a well ventilated area. Definitely choose a removable artist grade varnish. Varnish is supposed to be added after the oil painting has completely dried all the way through and chemically changed to "cure." At that point a clear removable varnish gets added to give it a nice glossy finish and protect the paint layer. Every 25 to 30 years, the varnish should be removed by a conservator (or the artist or owner) with a varnish remover solution and reapplied, because the varnishes become yellow over time and aren't intended to be permanent. This is why very old oil paintings turn brown. They often just need cleaning and a clear new coat of varnish to look as bright as if they were painted last year. You don't need to buy the varnish before finishing the painting, since you won't use it till the painting's done and completely dried. "Retouch varnish" can be used as soon as a painting is touch dry. It doesn't hurt the paint layer, but the painting should feel thoroughly dry and you should wait a good month before using it. That gives a temporary finish if you want to sell the painting sooner.
    • Buy the brushes. Stiff ones are preferred. Bristle brushes are less expensive at the cheap end but good ones of either white synthetic fiber that's as stiff as bristle brushes are just as good. Some oil painters also use a soft sable brush with a long handle for different effects. Get a range of sizes, large medium and small, for blocking in areas, painting in the forms and objects and quite small ones for final details if you like detailed realism. A soft "rigger" brush with very long thin soft hairs gets used for ship's rigging, cat's whiskers and other long linear details in realism, it holds a lot of very thin paint and can be used to write your name small or do long smooth lines. For a beginner, it's recommended that you try a variety pack of bristle or synthetic bristle brushes with different shapes and sizes to discover the style each one creates.
    • Palette knife, painting knife or non serrated butter knife to serve as one for mixing paint. Palette knives are pretty cheap though if you get the plastic ones. The nicer metal ones don't stain and will last for years if kept clean. Painting knives have different shapes like trowels and angled things, each has a different effect and you can use those instead of brushes to do your whole painting.
    • Charcoal or a violet pastel pencil to sketch on the canvas.
    • A palette to put your oil paints on while using them. This can be an actual palette with a thumb hole or you can improvise with a cheap plain ceramic, glass or melamine plate. Something that could stand up to being washed off with turpentine is good. Many artists prefer a gray palette because the colors show up truest on gray. If you use a flat piece of glass on a table (very cheap if you take it out of a cheap photo frame) you can put gray paper under it to have a gray easily cleaned palette for every time you need it.
    • Two small cups for oil (or Liquin) and thinner. Some sets come with a "double dipper" that clips onto a palette, if so then your set probably also has a palette.
    • Painting rags. These can be any kind of clean rags. Strong paper towels will work but cloth rags are reusable if washed. Cloth baby diapers that have been used and washed, even worn out stained ones, make really good painting rags. Paper towels wear out fast––it's better to use old clothes that are soft like old t-shirts and stuff like that, actual rags. Try not to use fuzzy ones that shed though, since you may be wiping out painted areas with the rags. Use rags that are about at the end of their usefulness, unless you want to wash them out and keep reusing stained ones over and over.
    • An easel to work at, either a table easel set up on a table or a standing easel. This doesn't need to be expensive. The cheapest "display easel" will hold up any reasonably sized canvas at a comfortable working angle and its legs will adjust to a standing or sitting height. Unless you're disabled by age, disease or injury limiting the amount of time you can stay on your feet, it's much healthier to stand at the easel. This will also let you stand back every few strokes to see how the painting looks before adding to it, which makes for a better painting. You can also prop up the painting against a chair or other support, or otherwise improvise something. A "painting horse" is a bench with a board sticking up at the end that you straddle and prop the canvas into a groove.
    • Sketching supplies to plan the painting - pencil or charcoal, sketchbook or drawing paper or even scrap paper. They don't need to be archival since these are working sketches but if you like your sketches, you might as well get an actual sketchbook and use a soft pencil or even a pen or marker for it. Just something to sketch with and something to sketch on, your favorites. Your usual sketchbook and favorite drawing tools.
    • A safe, dust free place to put the wet painting to dry where nothing is going to bang into the wet side to smear it. Drying times for oil paintings vary from a few days to several months. Some types of oil painting take up to a year to "cure" before they can be varnished.

Sketch a "notan" of the painting in your sketchbook or on scrap paper with a gray pen and a black one, or a pencil and a pen using the pencil as the gray. If it's a square, that's square. If it's rectangular or oval, decide if it's going to be vertical "portrait" orientation or horizontal "landscape" orientation. Do the notan drawings very small, just to place the light, dark and medium areas on the design. They can range from a large postage stamp to a business card size - the idea is to see it as if it was at a distance or a thumbnail. Do lots of them till you find the best design without worrying about the details.

Using charcoal or the pencil, make a value drawing in your sketchbook. It can be quite detailed and shaded carefully or just loose to show you where the shadows and highlights are. This partly depends on how detailed and realist you want the painting with. A looser painting style can have a sketchier value sketch, but should still have one with more than "white middle and black" so that you can tell where there are at least five values - white accents, light value, medium, dark, black accents. Some painters like to not use pure black and white but just use "light, light middle, middle value, middle dark, dark" for the five values. It depends on the effect you want. If you don't like the sketch keep trying different versions of it till you get one you like.
    • In the sketch, make sure the light falling on the person, objects or landscape elements is all going in the same direction. Pay attention to where the shadows go. They should all go the same direction and are shorter when the sun or lamp is high, longer if it's later or earlier in the day and the sun is low (or lamp is low). Directional lighting will make all the objects look more three dimensional. Draw the shapes of the shadows carefully and most of your subjects will look three dimensional at that point. This makes for good Impressionism or realism.
    • If you want to do an abstract, do the pencil sketch loosely and work out where you want particular effects like spattering or strong texture strokes. Or skip the sketch stage on paper and proceed to the next.
    • Sketch the subject on the canvas board, canvas paper or canvas pad. Use charcoal or your violet pastel pencil. Mark up the exact proportions of the canvas on the board or pad if it's not exactly the same shape, so everything's placed the way it is in the planning sketches. Do this drawing as pure outlines. You can get detailed for realism by marking up eyes, mouth, any important shapes on it or you can keep it very simple just to the main shapes and main shadow shapes. Either way it should look like a Paint By Numbers canvas when the sketch is done. If you make mistakes, wipe off the charcoal or pastel pencil with a damp cloth, let that area dry and draw it again. Very correctable.

Squeeze out a little of the paint on your palette and mix your colors. Set out your yellow, blue, red and a larger dab of white with some distance between them. Optional, use Burnt Sienna as well. Leave all the other colors in the box if it was a gift set.

Paint the color study "Alla Prima." Just paint right over the sketch into the areas of each color. Because this doesn't need to be detailed, you can try painting the color study with the palette knife or painting knife. If you don't like any of your color choices, use the palette knife to scrape off that bit and put the mixed-up paint off to the side on your palette in case you need some muddy brown. The mix of all three primaries will harmonize throughout the painting and so the mixed up paint can be separated and mixed with a little more to turn it into pale or dark browns and grays. No waste with a simple primary palette. Keep playing with the Color Study until you like it as a simple, bold painting done with a fairly big brush and not much detail. If necessary, do more than one of them till you work out what mixtures and colors you like. You're doing this little practice painting with the paint right out of the tube. It doesn't need either thinner or oil for this technique. If you like the look, you can do the big painting the same way just by using the palette knife and tube paint with bold strokes onto the canvas, no extra oil and no thinned out layer. That's a style of oil painting that's fast and powerful.

Draw the outline using a soft pencil or a thin stick of charcoal. On a landscape painting, using a violet pastel pencil is a very good choice because that color blends well with all the landscape colors without darkening or staining light colors as much as black. Charcoal and the violet pastel pencil are both easily corrected with a damp tissue or rag, so don't worry about making changes to the sketch! Draw it in, if you get it wrong wipe off the wrong bit and try again.

Prepare some oil in a cup and some thinner in another one. Wipe your brushes and palette knife clean. Wash the brush you used if you used it for the color study, using the turpenoid - just dip it in the thinner and squeeze it out with a painting rag.

Put a small dab of Burnt Sienna on your palette. Or if there isn't any white or much white in the three-color mud mix, use that for your brown thin layer. Thin it out by dipping your brush into the thinner, turpentine or turpenoid or Sansodor (the Winsor & Newton brand is good). Dip the wet brush into a little bit of paint and squidge it around till you have very thin, transparent paint that's light. Paint in the light areas on your painting following the notan. Using a little more paint, do the medium light and successively darker areas with the Burnt Sienna, still thinning it till it's like ink in texture. Even the dark areas should have a fair amount of paint thinner in them. The more thinner you use, the faster this transparent Burnt Sienna value layer will dry.
    • Wow. The transparent value painting in Burnt Sienna usually looks pretty cool at this stage. It's still easy to change if you got it too dark somewhere or too light somewhere. Take a rag and wipe off the part you don't like and redo it the right value, or add a little more color. Or wipe out and change the shape. Gee, you thought oil painting had to be perfect, nope, it's very easy to correct and make changes all the way through. This stage will dry pretty fast, within a few minutes to half an hour. The thinnest parts may be touch dry by the time you finish the other corner. It only needs to be touch dry.

Remember the rule "Fat Over Lean." This is structural. That first layer - the value sketch you paint over - was very lean - almost all turpentine or turpentine substitute, very little oil. Just the amount of oil in a little bit of staining paint to make it show up. It looks almost like watercolor on paper at that thinner layer. You can do successive washes in different colors if you want a fun technique at the "wash" layer. The next layer is "Alla Prima" or paint right from the tube the way you did the color study. That's sort of medium fatness, like someone who's not fat or skinny. After that, the more oil or Liquin that you add to the paint, the fatter it is. The problem of Lean Over Fat is that the oiliest layers dry the slowest, so the faster drying paint should be under it. Otherwise the outside will dry before the inside and the inside might remain squishy and sealed.
    • Worst case, a painting that has Lean over Fat can slide off the canvas on a hot day, losing all paint cohesion. This happened at least once to a past student of a teacher who told the story.
    • Never use oil pastels under oil paint because their oil formula includes mineral oil that never dries. You can optionally add oil pastel marks on the last layer of an oil painting when it's touch dry.

Block in the colors in general for major areas first, then add a little more paint to make details lighter or darker, redder or yellower or bluer. Mix your colors half on the palette, half on the canvas. Start with getting the main areas of light and shadow blocked in with the right general colors, then add in more paint to modify them. Shade gradually and blend them gently where you want the paint to be smooth without showing much brush strokes. Dab on lots of it and leave it where you want strong textures like an Impressionist painting, or use knife strokes to make bold textures. Contrasting smooth textures and bold ones so that some parts of the painting are raised "impasto" texture and others are smooth and carefully painted is very lively. So vary the amount of "alla prima" texture you put on. Mix some of the oil into the paint if you want to lay it on thin and brush out the brush strokes to keep it smooth. As long as it's still wet, you can mix more oil or more paint in to make that layer fatter or thinner. But if it starts to dry or skin over, don't put anything leaner over what has fat in it.
    • Unless you want a really ugly special effect, like painting a zombie's face and putting a big pocket of fat in on the cheek, then letting it dry wrong, then ripping it open to have the paint skin dangle down and the clump of brownish-red fat paint hit the air and dry solid, maybe dripping over the rip. Almost any mistake can be turned into a special effect once you know how it works.

Oil paints stay wet for days! This means you can paint all day, fool around with it, go to bed, put an empty box over the palette so your cat won't walk in it, start over tomorrow and keep making changes while it's wet. You can use the palette knife to scrape off whole areas of it before it dries and start over. Oil paint's slow drying time allows plenty of changes before you decide it's done and let it dry.

Leave it to dry. It would take at least two weeks unless you used Liquin as your medium. Liquin dries faster than paint from the tube, so use at least a bit of it into all the paint so that it all bonds well. It's not fat, but oil right from the tube is. You can also get alkyd oils that have alkyd (the main ingredient of Liquin medium) right in the tube paint, where the painting may take only a couple of days to a week to touch dry depending on how thick the paint is.

One of the traditional Old Masters techniques doesn't rely much on brush textures. Start as described here, do the thin Burnt Sienna layer, then using tube texture paint and carefully brushing it, do a realistic black and white painting with all the details of your subject just using Ivory Black and Titanium White. Let that "grisaille" or "dead layer" dry thoroughly. It will look like a black and white photo in a way, very detailed. Then start mixing oil with all your colors, using them very thin, start painting over the grisaille layer. Covering the black and white painting with various transparent colors will let the light bounce back and forth within the dried layers and give it a unique luminosity. Only slow heavily layered colored pencil painting comes close to the effect, it's one of the things oil painting is famous for.
    • You can try this method if you have a lot of time to let each glazed layer dry before doing the next. But if you don't want to take that long, just let the grisaille dry, add a bit of oil, paint over it in the right colors and add one final glaze when that layer's dry. You can get as elaborate or as simple as you like with oil painting.

When you finish a day's painting session, clean your brushes by dipping them in the thinner and then use the painting rag to squeeze the paint out of them. Repeat several times till almost all the paint is off before swishing them in thinner, otherwise it wastes thinner. Store your painting rags and supplies away from any open flame or electrical circuits or heaters or anything that can start a fire. Seal them in a metal can if you have one handy. If you store your palette with paint squeezed on it in the fridge, it will slow the drying and you can use the squeezed out paint longer. But don't let anyone mistake it for food.

Store wet paintings somewhere safe that's free of dust, dark and cool if possible. You can build a vertical drying rack with a home built cabinet where you put peg board panels a couple of inches apart to lean one wet painting into each slot. If you do a lot of oil painting, this is a good DIY project to leave you more garage space. Since you are creating fumes with the thinner, it's a good idea to use the garage and other areas that people don't spend as much time in or have very good studio ventilation. Storing them in vertical slots reduces the amount of dust that falls on the painting while it's drying, it'll mostly accumulate on the top edge instead of the front of the painting.

With a "Gallery" canvas that is an inch and a half deep, you don't need to frame an oil painting. Just paint the sides too, either wrap the painting around or paint them black or put a design, do something fun with it. Then you don't need to buy a frame to either sell it in a gallery or give it as a present, it's ready to hang when it's dry and varnished.

Wait at least a month after the painting is touch dry to use retouch varnish and give the painting a temporary shiny, finished look. Some colors dry matte and flat, others shiny, it can be annoying till the varnish is on. Then wait another eleven months to add Damar varnish or any other removable conservator varnish and let that dry for a few days. Your painting will now last longer than you will.