Thirty in Thirty. Day Eight. Process: Underpainting.

Oil bars —sometimes called oil sticks— are oil paints in a solid form. I often use them to sketch and draw compositions and details in my paintings, because they can be thinned with turpentine and used with regular oil paints. For multi-layered pieces, I sometimes draw directly on the gessoed panel with oil bars, and then paint on top. I also use oil bar on wet washes of turpentine/oil paint, or on top of dried layers. I started a series of  larger, horizontal paintings in the studio today, and this is a small section of one of them. When I sketch a rough outline like this, I usually put the piece up on my easel -but sometimes I work on the floor. Oil bar dries quickly with winter’s low humidity, so this thin layer will likely be dry tomorrow. Next I will add thin washes of oil color and more drawing.


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  1. […] pieces are drying in the studio, and I’ve moved back to the larger works. Remember that long piece with the oil bar underpainting? Looks different now doesn’t it? This is the third layer, and it’s maybe halfway built. […]