Since this is a night picture, I needed to paint my canvas black. This was my first experience with using oil paints. Not at all like other types of paint I've worked with. My wife and I painted the inside of our house in South Carolina twice, the inside of our current house once, plus halping others paint houses, and various art projects I've done for school and fun. If you have never painted with oil paint, it is more like messy putty than paint. No wonder Bob Ross was able to do an entire pinting with just the putty knife. It was a pain to cover the canvas with a "thin layer" of the stuff. However, I acomplished my goal and covered the canvas with black.
We began by putting clouds in the sky. Tiny circles to make them, then just blend the bottoms of the clouds, don't over do it. Well, I blended the whole cloud, and over did the blending on top of that. Making mountains is fun. You take some really dark color on the putty knife and trace the outline of mountain peaks onto the canvas. I then had to make a big decision. Decide where the moon is, and then put white paint onto that side of the mountains with the putty knife. Put a thin line of paint onto the tip of the knife and lightly spread the paint cascading down the mountain. I then took the white paint, added some black and blue to it to make a greyish color and did the same technique on the shadowy side. My mountains looked awesome!
The next task was to create the snowy field. Again, I over blended everything and it looks like a blue-grey blob. Lastly I added a church and some more trees in the foreground to give the illusion of perspective. Personal notes: I need to work on my straight lines, perspective, and looking at the whole canvas before I cover my really good mountains with trees. While I was painting with the oils, Anthony chose to paint one tree with the sky around it using his washable paint. He wore an old work shirt of mine as a smock, which looked pretty funny, considering I am 6 foot 4 and he is 43 inches tall.
So what did I learn? I learned that I like to use oil paints. It works pretty well with how I think and what I want to make. The history of oil painting is fascinating. Oil based paints emerged as early as the 12th century in Northern Europe, somewhere around 200 years before the Italian Renaissance. It is almost as fascinating as the history of painting. Just about every culture in history has some kind of painting or visual art. Anthropologists belive that the first paintings served a religious or ritualistic purpose of some sort. There is also evidence it was used to communicate complex ideas in pre-literate societies. The Greeks and Romans used art to educate and commemorate important events. During the Medieval Era it was used to warn against sin. The renaissance moved art to a more decorative role. It is also one of the most versitile paints. I also learned that I need to learn more about brush cleaning and how to properly handle the chemicals involved in oil painting. I am going to let my son decide again what we paint next. He has two different scenes in mind, so we'll see what happens next week!
Ainsworth, M. (n.d.). Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
Ross, B. (n.d.). Bob Ross. Retrieved June 30, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/user/BobRossInc