landscape painting with oil paints

My First Painting with Oils

I’ve been through a real creative drought over the last few months. Without going into it, sometimes things happen that rock you so much, you end up questioning the meaning of it all. Inspiration, enthusiasm, and imagination all took leave, and I was left with a void.

Thankfully, I’m back in my creative headspace now. The return has been tentative.

One sunny August afternoon after work, I took a spur of the moment trip up to the Brecon Beacons. Sitting on the limestone terraces, looking out over the increcible view to the north, a sense of wonder returned in the stillness. This also marked the return of my sense of ‘wander’.

I made more trips out over the following weeks, to forests, lakes, and mountains. I started taking photos again, and with the creative flow stemming from landscape photography, slowly my desire to paint came back.

Back in May when I last painted, I got feedback from other artists urging me to try working with oils. I was a little reluctant, due to the fact I’d spent out on arcylic paints, various mediums, varnishes, etc. However, last week I started thinking about what I wanted from my painting. I didn’t want to rush, like I felt I had to with acrylics. I didn’t want to have to battle with the medium I chose. I wanted to take my time to blend, correct and generally ‘feel’ the painting.

I splashed out on a set of Daler Rowney oil paints, plus two big tubes of Titanium white. I really enjoyed trying oils for the first time; getting used to the thickness of the paints, the effect of linseed oil on their flow, the slow drying time; and managed to throw together my first piece from imagination.

I know it’s going to be a steep learning curve working with oils, and it will be some time before I’m truly comfortable, but from that first try, I felt a sense of excitement and possibility that I haven’t felt for some time.

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