Tagged: techniques

Learn the Oil Painting Technique: Wet into Wet

Also known as Alla Prima (Italian for first attempt), wet-on-wet means you simply paint over wet paint. The goal in this technique is to finish the whole painting before the first paint dries therefore working fast is the key. Here are some things that you need to know about wet-on-wet painting.

morris hinson1

• You start the wet-on-wet technique using thinned oil paint for drawing. Then you place spots of colors all over the painting to fill it in because the sketch usually dissolved or over-painted as the painting progresses. The painting can be adjusted slightly with glazes and highlights after it dries.

• Blending colors is easy with wet on wet technique. You can directly place one color onto your canvas, and then add other colors and blend with brush or knife to you desired shade. But you have to make sure that you mix colors rapidly and with clear understanding of color theory and keeping in mind the form that you’re trying paint. Expertise with brushwork is very important to do the trick.

• The beauty of wet-on-wet technique is that it sustains the fresh and spontaneous inspiration that come as you paint. For me it is the most intuitive way to paint. Creating a portrait with the technique will require expertise in mixing colors to match your subject.

• It may require few layers of paint to complete the painting, in which case it is easy to overfix the paints, which can look labored and weak. This is the stage where many beginners give up, but if you press on, you can master wet-on-wet technique and create works with the amazing freshness and spontaneity that only wet on wet can provide.

morris hinson2

• When working wet-on-wet pull the brush along its length with the handle close to the surface. You get two strokes with a flat bristle brush, one side then the other, look at the brush for any paint it picked up and wipe it. Think of the brush hairs as if they were the fingers on your hand stroking the surface. This method allows wet paint to go over another (wet) color with clean results.

Using this technique have its advantages. One is you don’t need fine drawing skills. Blending is also quite easy in this technique so you don’t need extensive blending of colors. Lastly, your paintings can be completed quickly (about 2 hours to 2 days only) because you have to make sure that you’re working on wet paint.

This technique is quite advanced and requires a bit of painting experience. Using the Wet-on-Wet method, a dedicated practice and experimentation are all that is necessary to achieve masterpieces that you never imagined you can possibly do.

Paintings by Morris Hinson http://www.thumbartsguild.com/artist/mhinson.html

Learn the Oil Painting Technique: Blending

Color blending is a technique wherein two colors are combined to create another color. Each color has a separate blend factor that determines how much of each color is combined into the final product. There are different ways to blend colors and different ways with different medium. Today, I will share some techniques in color blending using oil paints.


How to start?
Once you’ve decided what colors you want to blend to create an effect, you might want to blend small amounts of each and check if it’s the color you’re looking for then you can make necessary adjustments. Move the brush in a way from one color into the other and back or in a zigzag motion. Wipe off any paint from your brush before you start blending or better yet, start with a clean, dry brush so you won’t add any extra paint that is not part of your color scheme.

Indigo sunset original oil painting, seascape  by Gina De Gorna
Indigo sunset original oil painting, seascape
by Gina De Gorna
Image source: http://sunsetartonline.com

How to blend on canvas?
You don’t want the colors mix equally so stroking your brush sideways at least initially or else you’ll have strips of concentrated colors in your blended color. Remember to keep your strokes short and picking different percentages of blending. Keep repeating until it blends. As your tip gets thinner you get a smoother result, and once is smooth enough you can use blur or smudge tool to finish the job in case you want perfect gradients. If you think your blended color is not blending well or it’s too concentrated on canvas, all you need to do is to pick up a little fresh paint in the color that’s at risk of being lost then work from the outside or the darker shade until its blended. You can take your time blending with oil paints because they dry slowly unlike with acrylic paints.

flat-brushWhat type of brush and brushstroke is best to use in blending?
Create a transition between the first two shades using a crosshatch stroke. Flat brushes tend to work best for blending. Smooth the blend by using parallel strokes along the transition you just created. The parallel strokes should be perpendicular to the lighter shades. Use a clean brush to blend the next shade, and repeat the technique using first crosshatched strokes followed by parallel stokes. A clean brush should always be used when working with a new shade, even if the actual color is the same.