top of page

StudioSense: One Scene, Three Versions

Recently, I reached for my oil paints to embark on an experiment with a scene I had painted in the past. Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains in early April several years ago, I came across this vista. Hikers of the region may recognize this as "Andrew's Bald" in Tennessee:

Back in 2005, I painted this scene in pastel (see below). The painting sold to a couple who visited my booth at the State Street Art Fair in Ann Arbor. Here is the original 16x20 pastel. I have several prints of this painting available, seeking a new home.

So I gathered my oils and decided to render this scene on a small 8x10 inch stretched canvas. Here is the oil painting version of Andrew's Bald:

After committing my early morning studio time to do an oil painting, I have gathered many observations comparing the two mediums. Some of these points admittedly are due to my inexperience with oils.

My observations:

  • I am spoiled by pastels when considering the challenge of mixing oil paints. My pastel collection is huge. There's a color and shade for just about every subject. With oils, (for me at least), it is a trial and error process of mixing colors.

  • That touch with the fingers with pastel feels more controllable and accurate than using a paintbrush.

  • It feels easier to convey brilliant colors with pastel than with oils (this may be a function of my lack of experience with oil paints).

  • I like the permanence of oils (no dust, glass or mat, or even framing needed).

  • I need to let the oil dry to build up further highlights or make a subtle value or color change. Not true with pastel.

  • I learned that it is possible to arrive at a nice painting with a small format (8x10; 5x7). Check out Daily Paintworks. You can find a vast collection of small paintings for sale. And they look great!

Here is the pastel version of the painting, with observations to follow. This pastel is 5x7 inches.

As I began working on the pastel version of Andrew's Bald, I discovered the need to make changes to the oil version. So I worked both paintings simultaneously. It was an educational experience.

I have boiled it down to two "issues" in my dealings with the art of oil painting. There's a "technique" I look forward to improving upon. The flow of applying the paint, using a variety of paint brush styles and tools. The other issue is creating (mixing) the proper hues and values to convey the scene at hand. I recently bought a recipe book for mixing landscape colors, which forces me to think about what colors "go together" to create a certain look and feel.

I would encourage any artist to apply different mediums to the same scene. You will begin to "see more" in these vistas as well as hone your landscape paintings skills.

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page