Saturday, April 30, 2016

Want to try oils but don't know where to start? 

Are there so many rules its scary to have a go?

It doesn't have to be like that. Learning to paint oils can be so much fun and highly productive.

I love any materials that help me to paint, but if I was on a ship and it was going down, (unlikely I know!) and I was forced to choose between two bags of paints I'd be choosing the bag of oils over the acrylics to keep me occupied on the desert island. Though in reality I love both mediums. BUT IF I HAD TO CHOOSE!

So what's so great about painting in oils? 

How do they differ to acrylics?

The two mediums provide completely different painting experiences.

Oils are buttery, rich and immediate with brilliant colour and texture.

Acrylics dry quickly and are water based, great for the home studio painter and fast turn arounds. 

Detail of student's oil painting 

When I paint with oils I usually paint from life which creates immediacy, action and the thrill of the materials coming together on the canvas. It's an experience that leaves me exhilarated. The paint stays wet so I can continue to work into it. I love texture in the paint. Oils allows me to build texture easily and spontaneously.

Loads of texture is easy to create with oils. Some examples in my studio at Salon Rouge

As much as I appreciate both mediums, oils are down right sensuous to work with. They feel buttery, generous and glide on easily. Painting is a real pleasure with oils, as they are so responsive and luscious to work with. 

Try out water based oils

Thanks to research and product advancement you can now enjoy water based oils with the Artisan range by Winsor and Newton. 

Students of my Freedom to Paint Oils Workshop in the Barossa get to try out the new Artisan range of paints as well as traditional oils. If you wonder into an art store you don't get to try the oils before having to outlay to use them. So this is a great opportunity to paint with various oils and decide what you like.

My students also learn to wield a variety of painting tools besides brushes with confidence including exactly how to handle the palette knife and how to bust a few sensational moves to create confident marks and superb texture on the canvas. 

En plein air painting hay bales in the Barossa at the Freedom to Paint workshop

But isn't oil painting stuffy with tradition? 

It can be but not the way I teach it. I lean more towards the impression and painting beautiful inspiring things rather than sitting for hours with a cramp in your hand as you make a study of a classical bust, punishing yourself because it doesn't look like a photo. Perhaps your artwork will be binned within months of getting it home when it's that much hard work with little pleasure in it. Not in my workshop!  
I've been told countless times my freedom to Paint Workshop is life changing and liberating. Once you realise you can do this, there is no end to the possibilities.

Haybales painting En plein air in progress

I'm all for building an understanding of what the materials can do, so you are confident to use the oils to capture your inspirations. Tone, light on form and colour mixing are all covered. By the end of the five days you see things differently. It's the norm to create paintings you will want to hang at home or sell after the workshop.

Here are some comments from the last group in April 2016;

'I've never done oils before. This was mind blowing.
Looking at where I started and where I finished the progress was quite fantastic. 
Particularly the movement of the palette knife and the impact on the painting . That is really the biggest revelation for me, that one stroke of the palette knife can have such a big impact.
One swipe can make a huge difference. If you can use that well, it's brilliant.'.......................................................Margaret Ballard, Canberra

'I wanted to learn to be loose with my painting. I was too tight.
The Freedom to Paint Workshop made me feel expressive and spontaneous with paint. I can already paint fine detail, but this was the opposite. Using more material on the canvas is more luscious and sensual, and more satisfying to paint.
I love the speed of how the paintings happen  with this style.
Exhilarating!'........................................Abby Jamalullail, KL, Malaysia

'I learned a lot. I loved the en plein air experience using the palette knife with the painting coming together really quickly.'
..............................................................Jeannette Agnew, Sydney, NSW

'An exhilarating week, very informative.
The beginning for my new painting journey into oils. I learned so much! ......You are such a caring and generous person Jac!'
..........................................................................M. Lamb, Victoria

Immerse yourself in oils in the Barossa and gain confidence

So if you are feeling curious to try oils for yourself in  a nurturing environment with lots of guidance and excellent quality information 
you might like to book in for the next oils workshop;

Freedom to Paint Workshop May 2016

Commences 5pm May 28 at Salon Rouge Gallery and painting studio Kapunda, Barossa Valley.
then May 29-June 2 inclusive for five days of painting, 
(paint a minimum of 6 paintings)
concludes June 3, at midday. 
$2790 inc all art materials and catering during workshop.

Accommodation available separately at student rates

Phone Jacqueline Coates M 0429 100 929
or visit the website at 

Notes by Jacqueline Coates Art tutor, and founder of the Blooms Painting MethodT.M.  April 2016

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