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Shades of Grey

Mrs C 17 Jan 2021

Oil, wet in wet, this is my 10th painting which didn’t go well as you can probably tell.
I’m honestly not sure why I didn’t just stick with the 3 colours, I added alizarin Crimson, Indian yellow as well as the Van Dyke Brown, Titanium white and Prussian Blue.
I really struggled with everything. I didn’t watch a video on this, which could be one main issue, I thought just the image of the painting would be enough.
I can see I have too much sky, my sun is terrible, I just couldn’t get it to blend, paint wouldn’t stick to the mountains, which are more like the underside of an egg box, and then the paint wouldn’t leave my brush to get on the trees.
First time using my new script liner for the sticks, no matter how hard I tried, it wouldn’t go on properly.
I’ll have to wait for it to dry, but is there a way to fix it?



Or you could turn that around and say that despite trying a difficult landscape with a lot going on in it, someone new to painting managed to make a lovely landscape. Look on the bright side and what you did well - your trees are fantastic. The shape, the color, the snow highlights. I wish I could make trees like that. What colors and brush did you use for them? As for the mountains, putting the snow on them is super difficult. Bob makes it look so simple - it isn't. I'm not very good at it either. But learn to appreciate what you've done well and build from there.

Voy Kay Conqueror of Challenges

I will quote Sunnylady here who gave me the following comment on my version of this.
"I think this is quite difficult painting, because everything here depends on the value more than ever to bring depth and sharpness and define the foreground."

She's right you know, but don't feel bad about it, it is after all not an easy painting. I painted a dragon myself yet it was only my second month of oil painting!

What is the thickness/number of that script liner? A number 2 like Bob uses can be too thick on smaller canvasses. It would really be necessary to thin the paint (with paint thinner!) to make very thin lines. It asks a little exercise and practise to compose the right thickness but once you got it, you will always remember it!
I use a Da Vinci number 0 and I am VERY happy with the very thin lines!

@Ironchef, thank you, you are far too kind. I guess Im just irritated at myself, and of course I had to keep going to finish it so I didn’t just waste a canvas.
I got in a real mess, and my brushes aren’t cleaning properly either, I have some old thinners, and it just doesn't work so my colours got contaminated. I had been wanting to paint all week and had some time, through I was in the right mind to.
The trees I did in the background with Prussian blue and vandyke brown with a 1 inch brush, then when I came back into them with a fan brush, with a little crimson added, and zig zag them, them came back to them with the snow some just white and some with a little crimson or a bit of the blue. , super tiny amounts though.
I suppose although the cabin is far from homely at least my perspective lines are better.
@Voy, yes the skinny tree I did with the script liner 2, I used a little thinners, from a tiny clean pot, but I couldn’t make it get off the brush into the canvas! I got the slickness to it, like how he shows in the videos, and thought, yes, one bit I will be able to do if nothing else, and then it didn’t come off the brush just picked up the background colours and muddied.
Is there a way to fix it ones it has dried? It started off fun then got very frustrating, did not bring me joy ☹️

Voy Kay Conqueror of Challenges

Well, experience told me that even a little too few or too much paint thinner will have implications on the canvas.
It's easy to tell: when you struggle to paint a line, it's not thin enough and when the line is too transparent, there is not enough paint on it.
The number 2 is not a bad instrument yet works best on canvasses size 20"x24" and higher. Then the thicker line that a number 2 gives will not show that thick on those bigger canvasses.
It's the reason why I have three sizes of scriptliner in my brush collection; a Davinci nr. 0, a Davinci nr. 1 and a Bob Ross nr. 2. Since I love to play/switch with/between smaller and big canvasses.

Best way perhaps to fix this would be to make the trees bigger (thicker trunks and branches). You have sufficient room for that in the painting.


Yay! First round number! 10th painting! Congrats!

Mr C, you are too hard on yourself. I understand your feelings I had the same in the very beginning. I also used acrylics.... so my pain was multiplied. I wish someone did teach me to erase and start over. I was so afraid of mistakes. My job taught me to do everything perfectly and this is not the approach in the painting. There is no perfect in painting that can be assessed through checklist or whatsoever. We do and redo and it is about the journey. The destination in this journey is not a fixed point.

Someone shared a wonderful video on forum about erasing the artwork. I realized that this is my biggest fear was and still is on subconscious.

Do not worry about colors mixing on the brush they create mud. Mud is very important color or colors. On the muddy colors pure color highlights will stand out and will shine. Mud is as important as pure color from the tube. Mud is a friend to bring the brilliance of pure colors.

However let me share one advice I am sure you already read about it somewhere. Wipe the brush on paper towel or rag very well. Then use thinner. Then wipe again very well till it dries.

Another advice would be to add few drops of linseed oil when you thin the paint for brunches.
As Voy said too much thinner is bad. What it does when there is a thick layer of paint already on the canvas - it cuts through them and does not leave a mark.

In classic painting each next layer gets more and more oil in it. Fat over lean rule. In wet on wet it is not that critical but still can be used to help with some things.

Mrs C if you want we can have Skype call over weekend and chat about cleaning and brushes and may be even paint something together. We are 5 hours difference. Something like morning for you and afternoon for me.

Sunny lady, I think I have discovered the right technique to brush cleaning now, with my BR bucket, screen and 2 bottles of zest it.

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