Opinion: Water Mixable Oils

In my humble opinion, it is true, water and oil do not mix. I tried this morning. Maybe there is a different approach to the use of them. But, when I attempted to use my sample set of water mixable oils as I would my normal oil paints, absolutely did not like the feel. To me, I could almost tell that there was water in my oil, as obvious as that may sound. The spread wasn’t the same, they appeared to dry much quicker (even though my use of water was almost null after my initial wash), and blending on the canvas became difficult. Again, first experience, and my initial opinion . I suppose it could have been the substrate (first time with this Ampersand textured panel also) but these may go into a drawer somewhere. I guess there’s a good reason they call it “oil painting”. I’ve done it for so long that these were a disappointment to me almost immediately.

Anyone else try this new media? Have any thoughts?

A small sample detail of my brushwork this morning. I couldn’t bring myself to finish this because I felt it was getting more and more difficult to work back into the paint. It wasn’t really meant to be a finished piece, but experimental. I’ll try again in my regular oil painting technique and post the results.

Update: while cleaning the palette with a palette knife, I thought, why not play a little? So, I took what paint mixes I had already mixed on the glass, and spread some using the knife over the canvas on top of my “mess”. It really turned out kind of neat! Might have to use a bit of knife in future projects. Haven’t done that for years.


Latest Commission

Just delivered this. It’s a surprise gift that a friend of mine requested of a family pet that passed away a year or so ago. I had several photos to work from, but this pose was the supposed favorite. Unfortunately it was a rather poor reference photo. But, I think with a bit of artistic license, I made it work.


20×16 oil on canvas.

Another commission

I have a friend who is patiently waiting on a commission piece from me. It’s not going so well. I’ve spent so much time correcting the original painting, that it’s getting very overworked. I needed a break. So today, spent a few hours on a sketch. Sometimes you just gotta step away and play.
Today’s fun…



It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Not because I haven’t been in the studio. Quite the contrary. I continue to study and learn each time I enter the studio. These experimental sessions are not meant to be published artworks. Rather they are learning tools that I hang on my studio walls for my own critical review. I continue to play with color, values, and edges, just to understand their roles in each brush stroke.

Many times I walk out of the studio feeling good about a days work, only to be a bit humbled upon return. But, that’s okay! It’s good to see my mistakes, or misjudgments. How best to learn? I have some really horrid stuff hanging in my studio. I hate to look at them at times, because I can’t believe that I actually thought they were complete. It helps me to realize where I’ve been, in order to get where I want to be.

This painting, “Golden”, was a four hour painting session, done for our annual “guys fishing trip” coming in May. Many years ago, I was asked to create a chart for the trip. The chart has been used to track our daily catches, weather, and many fantastic fun moments. Over the years, the chart has developed into an artistic challenge for me. I really have taken this chart thing too seriously, but, why not? I love to paint! Sure a far cry better than some of the earlier charts done in marker.

This one is done like the others, oil on poster board. Yup, poster board. Toned acrylic gesso plastered on the board first, then oil over. Again, not intended to be a finished “work of art”. Simply, more experimentation with a purpose.

So, it’s back to the studio for more fun. I have a few concepts I want to pursue. Looking forward to the trip!

Commission work

In early 2012, I was given the opportunity by a local community bank, to create a portrait of their founder, who in late 2011, passed away after an extended illness. Even though I had been out of the studio for such a long time (see blog from November 2012), I knew this was something I wanted to do. I couldn’t imagine a better way to show my appreciation for Doug and his ever present compassion for people.
This painting consumed much of my studio time last year. I spent many hours and many canvas on experimenting with color, values and getting my drawing skills back, before getting down to business with the final painting you see here. The painting now hangs in the bank board room.
“Doug” Oil on canvas, 18 x 24.