Oil Sketchn'

Awhile back I mentioned I was planning to integrate some oil sketches into my Sketchbook Project 2011 sketchbook. Well it has come to pass. Here are the first two of, ...oh I don’t know, maybe four or five I’ll do for the book. These are extremely fun, but the problem is, I have a tough time stopping at the stage where it’s still just a sketch. I always want to refine them further.

However, I refuse to work these up beyond one session that lasts only a couple of hours at most because to me, the loose look of these, along with the time spent doing them, is what defines a sketch. The challenge with these I suppose, is to simplify them even further. The really great artists I admire, like John Singer Sargent, were able to get the essence of a subject in the minimum amount of brush strokes. Until you actually try it, it’s tough to appreciate how hard it is to pull off. That’s true with anything really - The great ones always make it look easy don’t they.

Bottom line is, I love working with oil paint in the early stages and leaving it for a day or so, then returning to it in its semi-dry state. The next sessions then become all that much easier to get the effects that oil paint was made for. So I’m only going to do a few of these for my sketchbook and learn what I can, then return to doing full blown oil paintings while finishing up the rest of the sketchbook with pencil and maybe some colored pencil work.