Oil Painting Blog

Blog about oil paintings by Robert Dawson

Realism with oils

As you can see, my first oil painting, painted in 11th or 12th grade, was fairly realistic. It's not photorealistic, but it could have been with a little more time and patience. It's not bad.

Yet, I'm finding now, as I return to oils after a 15-year delay, that they, or at least the oils I have, are difficult to blend believably. The problem may be with the medium I'm using, Liquin, or perhaps with the paints themselves.

The problem I'm finding is translucency. The oils don't seem opaque enough and, when I try to blend them, they sometimes instead reveal underlying layers, often leaving a splotch of unwanted color. This happened a couple of times with my last painting, effectively restricting the level of detail and realism I felt comfortable pursuing.

I'll keep at it. My next painting will be a study of various objects. I need to know that I can paint realistically with these expensive paints, and feel comfortable doing so. I know I've just started, but I feel like this should be easier.