Four dogs walk into a field....

Yes, there is a joke in there somewhere. As you may have gathered by now, I do have a short attention span when it comes to my creative outbursts. I LOVE a wide variety of media and like to have the ability to switch between them when my mood takes me. I have explored with pencils, water colours, acrylics but until now I have stayed well clear from painting with oils because the solvents and thinners did not agree with me and I doubted I would have the patience to wait several weeks for layers to dry before being able to continue working on it.

My Dad used to make the most wonderful oil paintings and I have clung to the few remaining works, his wooden palette and his remnants of oil paint tubes for all these years since his untimely passing.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a non-toxic thinner and fast drying alkyd oil paints and I figured... maybe I'd give this a try. Paint an apple or a pear, ... since that is what you start with.. right? or maybe something simple and easy to achieve and learn the medium?

hmmm of course not!

Before and after my day job I binged on Youtube tutorials, ordered books and materials and then I found one artist who's hyper realistic work really jumped out: Michael James Smith.

I followed his instructions and it resulted in this very first oil painting:

OBVIOUSLY I could not stick to the tutorial at first (big mistake) and ended up with a layer that was too thick.. so I decided to add some texture to that big layer (bigger mistake) which resulted in eventually not being able to achieve the desired effect of fine foreground grasses. Lesson learned! I did however find a solution and added my lovely soulmate and our dogs into the picture: our current lurchers Lewis and Abby in the foreground, our late labrador Jazz and terrier Frodo running towards us. This is the start of a new love affair. I love the oils, I love what I can achieve and I love the way it makes me feel closer to my Dad.

Many more to come! Feel free to comment if you like this :)