God knows after how long I have picked up my oil paints. My last piece was in 2003, as a rank amateur. I love oils, as does any other artist. The richness in color is quite unmatched. When I started working in 2004, I was hardly doing any painting, and when I ventured again in 2006, I began afresh with Acrylics. One big reason was that with a baby around, I did not want fingerprints and footprints (!!) in my still-wet oil paintings. Acrylics were a safe bet.
Now that my kiddo is four and a half years old, I thought I must teach her that these paints will take time to dry and she cannot feel them until then. I love her enthusiasm in wanting to touch and feel my work, but now I have to curtail that in order to work with oils.
I expected that my love affair with oils would still be intact and that we would take off from where we left. Hardly! Somehow, in the recent past, over the last year to be specific, my speed has increased by leaps and bounds. I can start and finish a piece, even up to 9 by 12 inches in size, in a couple of hours. My speed of working had as much to do with the awesome Acrylic paints, as it had to do with hundreds of hours of practice. I don't have to care about going wrong with Acrylics, I can always paint over. I can do that with oils too, but not until they dry. Which is like 5 days. It is like a chiseling process now, to chip out my mistakes and get myself equally comfortable with oils too.
Oil on Canvas, 4 by 12 inches
© Nithya Swaminathan
I started one of the Reading series of paintings in oils, and reached a point where I had to paint over something and that had to wait. Realized that I must get over my rustiness with something simpler, not a figure for sure. So what better than a flower for me! Had picked up these long canvasses and it seemed perfect for this gorgeous flower. This was done in an hour or so, and I am slowly getting back at ease with the lovely oil paints. Hope to strike a balance between Oils and Acrylics going forward. I can always work a bit with an oil, leave it to dry and finish couple of Acrylic pieces in the meanwhile :)
Your comments are welcome!