Playing with Oil Paints

Oil Painting of Gourd

Untitled, Oil on 10" x 14" Canvas Board

There was a discussion recently on the Art and Antique Studio’s Facebook page about “painter’s block”, you know, like “writer’s block”. We talked about the benefits of working in other mediums to spark your creative juices. I like to quilt, but I haven’t done anything with fabric for a long time. I also admire the work of an oil painter, Lisa Mistuik, who teaches locally, so I decided to take one of her workshops. It was truly inspiring! She has a sweet spirit and her teaching is clear and honest. She helps you to understand the basics in a step-by-step process that is thoughtful and fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed the class and started to play with oils in between working in watercolor. The feel of the medium is so different from watercolor and it is challenging for me. I am so familiar with how watercolor works; I know what to expect when I lay color on the paper. Oil, on the other hand, is a much different animal! I can’t take any of the new work seriously, as I am learning how to apply the pigments, which brushes to use, and learning the feel of creating the proper edges and values. With watercolor, adding water lightens a color. With oil, adding lighter value colors, and sometimes white, lightens the color. With watercolor I know how to create those lost and found edges, with oil, I still struggle with the edges.

Learning a new medium is like exercising that part of my brain that has become a little lazy from being too comfortable and at home with watercolor. The process of painting has always been the most fun part of creating for me. The process of working in oil is challenging and fun. It really is sparking some life into my creativity and that makes it all worth while! Try something new and see how it affects your creative juices!


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