Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oils painting

Before I start, a little self promotion, I have some spare moleskine pages on sale at the spoke art website, some are as low as $50 and go up to $150 I think.

 Only the ones with a number and not a name are for sale and they are unframed.

Please keep in mind that some of those are sold already. If you are interested you should email Ken and quote the number. I'm not getting rich off these, all proceeds go into framing and shipping costs I pay to have shows. :-)


So I'm just gonna talk a bit about this process, it's not a tutorial so please don't expect to learn anything:P

 I drew up the figure to get the proportions and then sized it with GAC 100 by Golden. it is an artificial replacement for rabbit skin glue. You need to use a size because it stops the oil from penetrating the surface, which would eventually lead to rotting. Microbes can eat your paints, I guess that is pretty cool, but ultimately we want to delay entropy. I usually use about 3-4 layers.

more info:

"preparing a paint support" brought to you by golden.

I cut the double page out of the book because it was annoying to paint the figure with it cutting through the middle.

Then i blocked in a rough skin tone and some shadows.

As you can see it looks pretty crap at this point.

phase 2 I added some opaque colours and yes she gained a few kilos. I don't know why i scraped off parts of the block in and I guess i wanted to repaint the face ( a common theme in this work).

I cut back into the figure to fix it up and added some oil pastels in there for fun, but it still looks crap because I need to do the face and hands. More opaque on the sternum and boobs because the light is hitting it hard. 

Done the hands and arm here, adding the warms of the knees and some fancy little squiggle things to entertain myself it is pretty fun at this point.

Adding some random colours and seeing what happens, I don't know why. Trying to tighten it up and finish because I could paint and repaint things forever. It's fun to see how much chroma you can get away with (or not).

The sun crept up on me and that was a probably a good sign I should go to bed. 

And here is the final. 

later that day, I scraped off the head, cut the GAC and paper so I had to reprime it with GAC and then repaint the head, so that's why there's weird texture on it.  It looks a lot better in person or try the hi res by clicking the image.

Please excuse my self indulgent detail shot, keep in mind its bigger than the actual painting. 

You can see the shadows where I cut the paper by accident when I was scraping off the dry paint to repaint it.

Thanks for looking!


  1. Wow Rod... this is really awesome! Really excellent, love the face and all the greens you carried into it especially.

  2. Excellent, Rod! Really nice work. And I like the way you talk, you seem to be a cool guy.

  3. Great, man! Lots of affordable pieces still available.

  4. beautiful light, beautiful act!

  5. Amazing Rod!
    I did some oils studies and this will help me in many things.
    has a great example with lights and the lines... beautiful!

  6. Anonymous11:57 PM

    Beeyootiful!! Great little piece, and great, simple insight into a tough process. ♥it!

  7. Nice to meet you! You are a great artist and I'm your fan. I follow your blog, see you soon!

  8. Hey, I agree with the other comments: this one is really really nice and I like watching the progress pics;) Thank you for sharing and please feel free to check out my new art blog if you like!

  9. This is really wonderful to see your progress, yet I find it strange that you would tear up a moleskin to get paper to do this on... Why not just take some Rives or Canson and paint on it? Now your sketchbook is ruined?! Anyway, thanks for sharing!

  10. Anonymous12:22 AM

    I love your work and progress Rod. Forgive me for being forward but, which GAC did you use to reapply her face? 200? 400? I've got this large oil painting I want to rework...Could I just apply a layer of GAC and then gesso over it? Or would you just chuck the canvas?

  11. Anonymous12:24 AM

    by the way, thanks for the insightful post :)

  12. Ok, you had me at 'hello' nono! You had me at 'your header' looks awsome. I really like your sketch pages, the textures and the depth you give it. You are painting outside and do modelsketches, super! Thanks for sharing.