Archive for January, 2013

Painting In Steps

Posted: January 29, 2013 in art
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When creating an oil painting, I like to break it down into steps. In art, there really are no rules but I think it’s good to know “the rules” before you can break them. These are the steps that I learned when I started painting. I still use these steps when I’m not going free form:

1. Wash In- Establish the basic drawing onto the canvas. Put down the values, and edges in monochrome. I like to use a brown, washy tint for this.

2. Lay-In – This is where you lay down some opaque color. Use a flat color. I set up the complexion of the subject while still concentrating on values and edges at the same time.

3. Painting – This is where you develop your lay-in in step two. Paint directly into the wet paint, manipulating shapes and shadows. If you need to keep that paint moist longer during this process, put a couple drops of oil of cloves in the paint on the palette.

4. Finishing- This is where you step back, look at the painting and add highlights and details as needed.

-Roz Barron Abellera



This is one of my favorite paintings by Pablo Picasso. It was created by Picasso in 1903. It depicts an old, depressed man with shabby clothing hunched over his guitar, playing in the streets. With this painting I learned that you don’t need a thousand colors to get your point across. This painting is monochromatic yet very powerful in conveying mood and emotion.

At the time of The Old Guitarist’s creation, Modernism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Symbolism had merged and created an overall movement called Expressionism, which greatly influenced Picasso’s style. It’s from Picasso’s ‘Blue Period.’ It is currently on display in the Art Institute of Chicago.

-Roz Barron Abellera

These are the mediums I use for Oil Painting. You may have your own preferences but this is a good starting point.

1) Cobalt drier- I use this to speed up drying time. One or two drops is all you need. Just mix it in your paint and you’re ready to go.

2) Oil of cloves- While you’re painting, you’ll want to keep the paint moist. Per one inch of paint, use one or two drops.

3) Turpentine- Use it while you work. It works as a paint thinner.

4) Linseed oil- Highly recommended as a painting medium. It’s best to use the better quality grades. Don’t skimp here.

5) Sun thickened oil or stand oil- These dry with a glossy finish. They’re good secondary mediums.

6) Retouch Varnish- I use this to bring back the gloss to dull spots on the painting when it’s done.

7) Mineral spirits- I use this for cleaning brushes only.

-Roz Abellera

“The Persistence of Memory” used to be on display at the Salvador Dalí Museum, in St. Petersburg, Florida, (1 February–1 June 2008). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see it in person. I was scheduled to go see it but circumstances changed that.

It’s been owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1934. “The Persistence of Memory” returned to the Museum of Modern Art in June 2008 as part of the exhibition Dalí and Film, on view from 29 June – 15 September 2008.

It was said that Dali used ants in his artwork to symbolize decay. This has always been one of my favorite paintings by him. And to me it symbolizes the passing of time and decay and how time waits for no one.

-Roz Abellera

Everyone has their own methods of cleaning their paint brushes but these are the steps I use and it works great. Another helpful tip is to only use a palette knife to mix your paint. This will save your brushes from extra wear and tear.

To clean your brushes:

1) Squeeze out the excess paint.
2) Wash the brush in mineral spirits. I do this at least 3 times.
3) Wash the brush with soap and water.
4) Rinse the brush with warm water
5) Wipe the brush on a bar of soap-do this in both directions.
6) Pinch and shape the brush with your fingers.

Follow these steps and you’ll find that it adds extra life to your brushes.

-Roz Barron Abellera