A Work in Patience: Oil Portraiture

In 2012 I started using oil paints. I quickly fell in love with this medium. Those feelings started to wane once I began oil portraiture.

In this age of instant gratification, water colours and acrylics have enabled me to finish a portrait within a week or two. However, oils have taken three months, six months, even a year to complete depending on size and the number of people in the portrait. The adjustment to this pace was quite frustrating but I’ve learnt a few things as I’ve gotten into the groove.

I’ve learnt to take the time to really see the subject and find my style. I’ve learnt to explore different solutions to a problem I may encounter without worrying about the paint drying too quickly. I’ve discovered how long I can focus on a painting before my mind wanders to what I can paint on that blank canvas that I just bought. I’ve learnt that, with the right lighting, I’m better at oil portraiture at night, when life is quiet and the music is loud. I also love my sleep so I’ve learnt to manage my time more efficiently.

Sometimes it all falls into place but sometimes I have to make it work. Being an artist and balancing family life is,  in itself, a “Work in Progress” and oil portraiture is a lesson in patience.

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Self Portrait- My first oil portrait

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A more recent oil portrait

The Creation of Bob

There was once a large, stretched canvas that I was almost sure was cursed as nothing I painted on it seemed to work. I painted a semi abstract nude in blue. That didn’t work. Covered it with white paint.

A few months later, I decided to do a knife painting of an old familiar favorite, Boissiere House, otherwise known in Trinidad as The Gingerbread House. That didn’t work either. Covered it with white paint.

A few months after that, I decided to “try ah ting” and do a knife painting of Bob Marley. It worked 🙂

Here’s some work in progress pictures of Bob.

Bob

Bob Marley, Acrylic knife painting on stretched canvas.

New Addition to the Portfolio Section

I’ve added a new section to the Portfolio page titled Works in Progress. In this section you will be able to see how my drawings and paintings develop from start to finish.

I’ve recently completed my first self portrait in oils. This was definitely a test in patience!

Self Portrait in oils

Self Portrait in oils