We really enjoyed this demonstration last night at Rayleigh Art Group. It was informative, colourful, exciting and now many of us want to have a go.
Denise Allen introduced herself to us and explained the medium to us, this of course was to be a demonstration in water based oil paints, a new concept to many of us and a very interesting one too. Apparently you can use these paints in the same way as a normal oil paint but instead of using the usual linseed oil to mix and turpentine to clean, you just need water.
The picture to be painted was to be a water scene with crashing waves and rocks to one side and Denise started the picture of the evening by showing us the ‘bulls eye’ effect. This was done by thoroughly wetting the oil paper then painting three colours, in this case a yellow, red and blue. These colours were literally painted like a bulls eye by starting with a centre of yellow, then a red ring around that and then finally the blue was put in the outer ring. Having got all three colours on the paper, Denise then tipped the paper from side to side and upside down, waiting for all the colours to mix on the paper and waiting for the drips to move to the edges of the paper. This paper will now need possibly a week to dry ready to be painted on as although the water would dry out fairly quickly, the oil paint would take a similar time as normal oil paint to dry.
Putting this piece of oil paper aside to dry off for another painting, Denise put a piece of paper already dry and proceeded to draw with a fine brush to get an idea of where to put everything and then filled in the sky, working down to the rocks and some of the darker areas of the water. She worked the paint with a dampened brush, explaining that she wiped the brush dry every time she dipped it into the pot of water so was actually working with very little water just a damp brush and thin paint so as to build up the layers of paint. Her tip was always work fat on thin, therefore thin layers for most of the painting and only thicker paint towards the end. Denise also worked with an old piece of towel working the paint around to get a soft image. She worked on the picture trying to keep the light effect from the bulls eye, i.e. the centre of the painting was to keep a very light yellowish tinge to it.
After the tea break, Denise worked into the rocks for a while and then went onto the water, explaining how the water comes into the shore and then takes the froth back out making a lace effect. It was all making a lot of sense as we watched this lovely picture evolve, Finally came the flicking of white paint, this was to make the spray of the water and Denise explained that the best way to get the right consistency of the paint for this task was to think of the paint straight from the tube as a cream consistency and to do flicking we would need skimmed milk consistency. A very good tip I thought, and definitely one to remember. She showed us a couple of ways to do this effect, one by tapping the end of a brush well loaded with paint, and the other by using an old toothbrush or stiff brush and pulling back on the bristles with your fingers.
The finished picture was lovely and Denise felt like she was one of the Club, she was lovely, chatty, fun and very clever.
Report courtesy Cathy Newton and Photos by Colin Mossman