Water-Soluble Oil Paints!

I’ve been wanting to try these for ages, ever since I gave oil painting a try last year. A few things kept me from buying them right away. One was a money thing, as they weren’t a normal paint that went on sale at my local art store. Two was the internet thing, where artists talk about the downside of water-soluble oils and how one should still use a medium other than water. The third reason probably had a lot to do with my big existential who am I crisis at the end of last year, where I–mistakenly–limited myself to one medium: watercolor.

But it’s 2019, Y’all! And my Limitless project is still on! So, the other day when I realized watercolors were getting a bit stale at the moment and I wanted to try something new, I bee-lined straight for the art store and bought the primaries.

The paints are Winsor & Newton Artisan series, and they are gorgeous. What I disliked so much about traditional oil paints–the cleanup, the need for mineral spirits–is a thing of the past with these paints. I have been using only water these past two days, but I will be moving up to linseed oil today. Because the online artists are right about that fact: you should still use a medium to follow the “fat over lean” rule of oil painting. But now that I have a bit more knowledge under my belt, I know that this medium can be something as nontoxic as a walnut oil or linseed oil medium.

Do I see a difference between water-soluble and traditional oils in terms of quailty? I say no, but I’m not too savvy with traditional oils so there may be a difference? I hear from other artists that they are slightly less buttery, that they dry much faster, and also that they’re exactly the same as traditional.

The only real differences I see so far are that they are much easier to clean up, and don’t get all over the place like regular oil paints. Also, a little seems to go a long way with these paints. Meaning I don’t need a ton to paint with. Which saves money!

This is only a second layer, but I used walnut oil and got more of the “fatty” consistency

They are also reminiscent of watercolors for me, just enough that it bridges the gap and provides a bit of familiarity to me. The first day I got them, I watered them way down and used them like watercolors just to play around and they were so beautiful! I know, I know, the nerve of Lina, right?

I think what I like best about these paints is that I can bring them upstairs to my table without worrying about killing my pet canary with fumes. They are also very easy to travel around with, so long as I bring an extra bottle for old water. Because, like many mediums, you don’t want to just dump that dirty water down the drain. The Earth will thank you.

Have you ever tried water soluble oils? How do you think they compare to the real deal? Please tell me all about it below!

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When You’re Too Scared to Draw

The past 1-2 weeks were difficult for me. Every time I sketched something out, I put the unfinished piece on my easel, and then it  would just sit there. Because I was scared to go further, to pull out the Micron pen and draw the “final” draft. I was scared to mess up, to make a problem mark somewhere, to overdo it.

I was scared to fail. Continue reading “When You’re Too Scared to Draw”

Hatching & Cross-Hatching

Every now and then I’ll practice something that may or may not make it into my future illustrations. Because I learn. Even if I never use it again, I learn.

I’ve practiced hatching & cross-hatching in the past, and it didn’t make it far into my artwork. However recently I picked up a few illustration books at the library and one of them discussed hatching and cross-hatching–as well as other shading methods–and I decided to play around with it again. This time I think it has stuck. My artwork is evolving again; I can see it! While I do like the “clean” look of my most recent work, I also like the weathered quality provided by the hatching. In fact, it seems to bring forward the part of me that loves all things eerie: foggy mornings, ghost stories, fall wind, dusty photographs.

And I think that, maybe, hatching will help grow yet another branch of style for me.

At the time, I seem to like the “quick sketch” look, as I usually do, but I want to work on cleaner lines with my hatching.

Maybe it’s because I’m an info junkie, but practicing the basics is super fun for me. And because I returned to these “basics,” I’ve already sketched out four new pieces!

Is hatching here to stay? Only time will tell.