This video is about painting the same scene in Oils and Watercolor. I demonstrate and talk about my approach to painting with these two mediums. I’ve used Oil colors in opaque fashion and watercolors in a transparent form.
Here is another oil painting demo that I recorded last week. It is a video recording of my steps in painting a landscape titled “A farm near Mulshi”.
I have removed the audio and sped up the video to make it small enough to upload to YouTube easily. I’ll be releasing the full 1-hour version with my commentary in a few days. Till then, enjoy this 2-minute video of my painting process.
I started painting small when I was still in a full-time job in IT industry. So I only had weekends to paint. Coming back to a half-done painting was not so appealing and so painting small was a better option.
I was inspired by the “a painting a day” movement which was started by artist Duane Keiser. It appealed to me as I would potentially have a finished painting at the end of each day I got to paint.
3. Easy to store
At that time I did not have a dedicated studio for painting and so painting small was more realistic than painting big canvases.
Tropical Sapodilla, 6 x 8, oil on canvas
4. Less mental involvement
If I mess up a big canvas I feel worse than when I mess up a small canvas. Mistakes happen and then you need to either wipe the canvas or totally throw it away. It’s all less painful with smaller canvases.
The initial investment in the canvas, paints and time is small for small paintings and so I feel more willing to experiment with them and try new ways of working. Experimentation is the key to artistic growth.
6. Easy to sell
It is easy for art buyers to buy smaller paintings due to their smaller price tag.
7. They are bought as gifts
Small paintings are easy to give as gifts to friends, family, clients and so on due to an affordable price tag. This results in more sales and who doesn’t like that?
River Kosi, 6 x 8, oil on canvas
8. Easy to ship
Small paintings can be easily shipped in an envelope. Shipping charges are also more affordable.
If any of these reasons resonate with you, start painting small, more often and see if it’s right for you. To get some inspiration, see my Daily Paintings here.
An artist has to overcome various challenges when he or she wants to paint a good painting. The drawing should be right, the composition has to be appealing, the colors should be right and values of the colors should be right too and these are just a few of the many such things. In this post, let’s see how one of these challenges can be tackled.
Many beginner artists have a common problem when they start out. They can draw well, but when they paint over it, everything seems to go wrong. That’s because they are trying to overcome two challenges at the same time. They have to get the value of the color right and the color itself right.
There is an age-old and easy way to overcome these challenges, one at a time. “Divide and rule” method works great here too. That method is called “Grisaille” method.
Grisaille is the name given to a monochromatic painting done typically with a near neutral (grey) color. It is more popular in figure painting, portrait painting and also as a cheaper alternative to 3-dimensional sculpture. Though this method acts as a stepping stone for painting with colors, the monochrome paintings also have a charm of their own.
Let’s look at the two steps of painting a colored painting using grisaille method.
Step 1: Grisaille layer
Here, the artist is concerned only about getting the values right. It is easier to achieve that when you paint with just one color. As we know, getting the value right is very important for showing the form. Value is the parameter which gives the feel of 3rd dimension to a 2D painting.
Before applying other colors, this layer of painting is allowed to dry completely. If you paint with oil colors, this can take few days but if you use acrylic colors, you only need few minutes.
Step 2: Adding Colors
The next step is to get the color right. To achieve that, artist mixes the color for each area in the painting, matches it’s value to the relevant area in the grisaille layer and then applies it to that area. This way, the artist has a perfect way to get the right values of the colors.
Sometimes even a glaze of color is enough to bring the painting to life. When glazing is used instead of opaque colors, you are using the value of the grisaille layer and color from the glaze layer. This type of painting produces more translucent and lively paintings.
Even though this method is time-consuming because of two distinct steps and some drying time in between, it yields a higher percentage of good paintings. I recommend this method to my students when they are starting out. Once they are confident enough to achieve correct values and colors at the same time, they can use a direct painting approach.
So, whatever medium you use, try the grisaille method and experience it’s benefits!