Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little Oil sketch demo

I've been spending long stretches of time at the computer, inputting exhibit entries. So, in the interest of keeping my sanity, I have been taking little 20-minute breaks to paint little bird sketches for a book I'm doing for my grandchildren for Christmas. These little oil sketches are not great art, but will work well for my purpose, and they are a lot of fun!

Several people have asked how I do an oil sketch so quickly, so I decided to photograph the last one, and show you. Note: these are only about 7" square, and I don't do any preliminary drawing - or any drawing at all except with the brush. I don't wait for anything to dry; everything is done wet. It truly takes only about 20 minutes to do a sketch like this. (Uploading it to the blog took longer than painting it did.)

Step 1: (less than a minute) Smoosh a background color thinly all over the canvas.

Step 2: With a mostly dry brush, wipe the shape of the main figure (in this case, a bird) out of the background. (another minute or two)


Step 3: Paint the bird. (3-5 minutes)

Step 4: Add some brushwork areas. (Another minute or two... don't spend much time on the brushwork or it will be to fussy.)

Step 5: Do detail work and clean up background. (This step takes me the most time, but I force myself to stop after several minutes, or I will work it to death. It IS only a sketch, after all!)

The story I have written for the kids has a total of 7 birds in it, so I'll be playing with them for a few days. I did the cardinal and a magpie today. A fun distraction!!!

9 comments:

T Scanlin said...

Kathy,
You GO girl! Thanks for sharing this wonderful process... these are wonderful. My only question is if you're referencing a bird photo or sketch you've made as you do the painting or if you do the bird from memory?
Tommye

K Spoering said...

Tommye, I have a couple of vintage bird books, and I just 'wing it' for the rest (pardon the pun).

Anonymous said...

The birds and other oil sketches you have done are lovely...I hate that I gave away my oil paints in favor of acrylic...maybe time to head to the art supply store and try this.

I thoroughly enjoy your blog and love being able to lurk about here.

Sueovetsfy

K Spoering said...

Thanks, Sueovetsfy. I have tried acrylics, but they would dry too quickly for this method. I actually use the water-soluble oils, which work and look just like regular oils, but you don't need the toxic mediums and brushes can be cleaned up with soap and water. If you're thinking about going back to oils, you might like these. Most major brands make them now.

Sue said...

thanks for the suggestion. I am heading for my fav art supply store Monday and will look into it. Your work is lovely and I appreciate you folks who share with us electronically challenged folks. My name is just Sue, somehow the scrambled code got included in my name.

Juan said...

Great work!
Excellent!!

K Spoering said...

Sue, that's so funny! I just thought maybe you were visiting my blog from some exotic place, with such an interesting name!

K Spoering said...

Oh, and Sue (since I can't email you privately...) if you live in a place with a Michaels or a Hobby Lobby, look for their coupons in your local weekend paper, and they both carry Winsor&Newton watersoluble oils in starter sets. That's what I used to start out with - enough colors to go on for quite awhile, and I actually prefer their paints to other brands I have used. A good deal at 40-50% off,too!

Sue said...

Thanks, Kathy,

lol, wish I was writing from some exotic place, don't know if I would like remembering that name though.

I live in North Alabama and am a hobby lobby coupon clipper. I will take the next one on my next foray.