Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Michael Chesley Johnson - Salt Marsh Overcast

Lately, I've been trying a new approach with my oil paintings. I've been using oil pastel for my initial block-in and then washing over it with mineral spirits to create an underpainting before applying traditional oil paints. Why? I find I can control the drawing better with oil pastel. And what's more, if you don't cover the underpainting completely, some of the wonderful "scribbly" marks will show through and energize the final surface.

I must warn you about oil pastels, though. They contain a non-drying vegetable oil. You must use enough mineral spirits to dissolve and wash out this oil so the following layers of traditional oil paints adhere properly.

Here's a recent painting I did this way. I like the way my underpainting shows through.

"Salt Marsh Overcast" 9x12, oil/oil pastel
$300+$10 shipping

- Michael Chesley Johnson PSA MPAC PSNM

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