Oil Painting Work-In-Progress

julie@julie-matthews.com   July 1, 2015   No Comments

I realize that I write here very, very sporadically.  Mainly because I spend most of my time on paper dolls or other projects that aren’t all that interesting.  (If you want to keep up with my paper dolls, check out http://paperdollschool.blogspot.com/)

Today, however, is the first of what I hope will become more regular posts.

I just completed an oil painting! I started painting in high school and continued to paint with oils until I decided to have kids.  I’m not sure how toxic it would have been, but I figured it couldn’t be good.  There were other things I could do in the meantime.  In fact, I studied design while I was pregnant with my first child, took up digital art and blogging around the time my second child was born, and now my oldest is getting ready for school!  Time flies I guess…

So today I’m going to share the process for completing my first oil painting in 7 years.

Phipps-2008Here’s the photo I was working from while painting.  Typically, I like to set up a still life and paint alla prima but I loved this photo and thought it would make a great painting.


I started this painting in the fall of 2008 and it languished in my basement after that.  I just never got around to working on it and by the time I really thought about finishing it, I was pregnant.  This is how it looked when I took it out of the basement.  I maybe had 3 or 4 hours into it.

2processThe end of my first session.  I worked on the pots, stone shelf, and foreground.  Each session was 1 to 2 hours.  That’s about all the time the kids will allow! They loved watching….!

3processThe end of session 2.  Really defined the plant on the far left.  I messed up the foreground pot, but that was fixed a little later on.

4processSession 3.  Just focused on the leaves of the plant and fixing the foreground pot.  I realized at this point that some of my initial drawing was off.  I decided to go forward anyway.

5processA peek into my basement studio for session 4.  The light in here is awful and that’s on my list of improvements before I start another painting.  Focused on the blooms this time, and further defined some of the background & middle ground.

6processSession 5.  Worked on the vase and it was challenging, to say the least. And completed the details in the plant on the left.

7processEnd of session 6.  Details in the bloom, completed all other parts including pots and stone shelf.

8finalAnd the final painting: Alstroemerias at Phipps Conservatory, oil on canvas.  I took a little white and defined some spots on the vase as well as some highlights on the leaves & blooms.  A few things I learned during this:

1) My paints were a dried up mess.  Definitely need to replace several tubes.  Some of them were more than 10 years old!

2) My brushes were a disaster! Just a straight up disaster.  I need to replace most of those before I begin again.

3) And I’m messy, so I destroyed my palette, too.

4) Light matters.  It was great when I painted outside but the light inside was awful.

5) This came out better than I thought it would!  I’m eager to get back into painting more regularly, once I make some adjustments to my studio and replenish my art supplies.

Hopefully I’ll have more to share soon!

Leave a Reply