Monday, January 18, 2016

Winter Wet Paint


The winter months, such as they are in Southern California, should be a perfect time for accomplishing some studio painting. Once the holidays are over, there are fewer distractions and the garden is less demanding. The number of daylight hours is growing again, but it's still cool enough to work through the day. The catch is this - drying time slows down - a lot. A small study or painted edge that might dry overnight at other times of year might take a week - or more. I've taken to placing smaller work in front of the fireplace to try to speed the drying up.

Storm and Eucalyptus Tree wip
©2016 Katherine Kean
oil on linen 30 x 40 inches
When I can, I paint working wet into wet. I find it more challenging than working in layers, allowing each to dry completely. Yet, working directly has certain advantages. The rules of fat over lean are less consequential in direct painting. 

Detail-Storm and Eucalyptus Tree wip 
©2016 Katherine Kean
oil on linen 30 x 40 inches
 Except for the underpainting layer, the painting above has been proceeding entirely with wet into wet technique, although I haven't decided yet whether to paint the tree into the wet paint, or allow it to dry first.

Underpainting - Storm and Eucalyptus Tree wip 
©2016 Katherine Kean
oil on linen 30 x 40 inches
In the meantime I've been keeping a drop of clove oil on the palette to keep the paint fresh overnight. The cool weather and the clove oil fumes are all it takes to keep the paint from drying, and it makes the studio smell amazing.

2 comments:

Kathryn Hansen said...

Clove oil as in Essential oils? Wow...that is very strong stuff...but really interesting!! :D

Katherine Kean said...

Some artists add a drop of clove oil to the paint to keep it wet for a long time. Just the fumes from a drop on the palette are enough to keep the paint on the palette fresh.