I wasn’t feeling too bad today (went for my first ride on my recumbent trike this year, the weather has been just awful), so I decided to do a bit of work on my mini oil painting. I’ve detailed in this post, this one and this one my progress up to now. I’m just working on it a bit at a time – partially as it’s so small so there’s only so much work I can do on it at a time before allowing layers to dry, and partially to make sure I don’t overdo it and hurt myself.
Today I started putting some more blues into the piece. I first started with a thin layer of blue paint mixed with a bit of oil paint medium, so the layers were very thin and translucent. After doing a layer of that, I looked at the painting and realized I was working in layers that were too thin. I like layering colours to give depth to colours, but for this painting it just wasn’t working how it usually does. I could see bits of the canvas peeking through, and the colours looked too “dry” to me. So I mixed up some more colours and used some thicker layers to create a more decent base layer. I can’t use paint that’s too thick as the image is small so there needs to be some ability to use and see detail, but maybe I’ll even start experimenting with that in the next round of layers. I love pointillism and how such detail is created using just tiny dots of paint. I doubt I’d get that into it, but I certainly love texture in a painting, I don’t want it to look flat. Oils do have a nice texture and thickness to them, so I do want to start experimenting more with that since I am in “experimentation” mode. For this painting I’m feeling no need to make it come out “nicely” and how I might expect or want it to, I’m happy to use it as an experimentation piece. If it comes out looking really cool, then that’s all the better.
Let me know what you think, do you have any techniques for creating texture and detail in paintings?