Oil Painting, more brushes – less work


As I paint this little picture (8″x9″) the wind and rain is pounding the house. This is the season of muted colours with the threat of winter hanging in the air. I will try and give this feeling to the painting. The colours, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue and Raw Umber. The brushes, medium round and larger flat bristles. The medium was Liquin only and White Spirits. The muted colours achieved is a direct result of using Cerulean Blue as opposed to Cobalt as used in May Meadow and other ‘rich’ coloured paintings.

Using only 2 brushes was an experiment to see how the time to paint was extended by having to clean them continually as I paint. I knew having extra brushes, one for the each different colour mix, was more efficient, but I didn’t know by how much. Recording the painting process involves starting the camera before each application of paint and stopping the camera to think, clean brushes, light my pipe, put the dog out, etc. The time from start to finish was about an hour, but the actual painting time was a little over 15 minutes. I think by using 6 brushes the painting would have taken maybe 35-40 minutes. So, for me, more brushes in use means faster painting. Another good reason for using more brushes is that the continual cleaning is stressful on the brushes, which means they wear out faster.

Details suggested using large brush

On the subject of brushes, lately I am trying to resist using really small pointed brushes to put in details. I think this makes the details too sharp and out of ‘sync’ with the strokes of the bristle brushes.

I will post the video next time. It will appear slower than usual as I will be reducing painting time from about 15 minutes to 7 or 8 minutes.


4 thoughts on “Oil Painting, more brushes – less work

  1. Hello and what a lovely site! It is so nice to see great paintings then be able to read about the process. I like what I see! I too am an artist here in western Canada. I like to paint mostly landscapes of the areas around me and wherever I’ve been. You are in Killarney, Ireland? I have been to Ireland myself and have many photos of a great holiday. I am pretty new to blogging, but you are doing very well with it as I can see. Anyhow, its nice to see your work and videos, and Iook forward to seeing more. Thanks very much….a great site.

    • Thank you for your encouraging comment. I’m delighted you enjoyed your holiday in Ireland, and didn’t mind the weather. I was also in Killarney during the summer but live in County Kildare in the eastern side of Ireland. Flat landscape, for the most part, with low hills on the horizon – not as spectacular as County Kerry, but it has its charm. Thank you for visiting the blog and I hope you will get some value from my posts. Art, after all, is about sharing.

  2. Pingback: Oil Painting, September – time lapse video « PictureS

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