The Copse – Oil Painting

The Copse

The Copse

I intended to use Alkyd only colour, plus traditional Titanium White and Ivory Black oils. As it turned out I under painted in Alkyd, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Prussian Blue, then finished in standard Cadmium Yellow, Viridian Green and Cobalt Blue.

So here are my initial observations. Everything happens fast. Thin washes, with solvent only, are sufficiently ‘set’ after evaporation, not to mix with subsequent layers of paint. This is similar to how traditional oils behave after 24 hours. Thicker layers stay workable for at least a few hours. This is good for my method as I very often paint an under layer, sometimes to mix with later layers and other times I’d prefer if they didn’t mix. This is controllable by the addition of solvent or the thickness of the under layer applied.

As an under paint, Alkyds are good. Strong transparent rich colour, drying fast to an inflexible layer allowing later additions of traditional oils. However, in this first encounter with Alkyd paint, I could not get the paint to produce an intense final layer. I rescued the painting with standard oil colour. The Alkyd paints I used, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Prussian Blue would have been capable of producing a final layer in standard oils, but not so here.

I think if I were to use Alkyd only I would have to increase the number of tube colours on the palette to compensate for this. I will post the video of the painting process in a few days.

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7 thoughts on “The Copse – Oil Painting

  1. I thought alkyds were gone with the past – are they still available in your part of the world? The receding perspective of the field rising into that incredible sky is the magic of this painting for me…

    • They are currently manufactured by Windsor & Newton. I remember when they were launched in 1976 and I tried them then. At that time I was painting in a more traditional way, layers drying and overpainting. The quality of the colours seems to be better now, I suppose the manufacturing process has been perfected over the years. I can understand the attraction of fast drying for underpainting in the traditional method and I think that’s the big selling point. Thanks again John.

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