Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Tip

Painting in oils is a waiting game. Sometimes time is of the essence or you might just really be itching to finish a piece off pronto. Fortunately, there is a quick solution! Airbrushing a basecoat in acrylics (or hand painting, though airbrushing is faster) lays on the color you need and allows you to get right to work on a finished coat.

Do as much shading (and dappling if you need it) as you can - I pretty much suck with an airbrush, so my shading is pretty rudimentary. When the horse is dry (which you can help along with a hair dryer or heat gun if you're desperate), give it a light spray of DullCote or Workable Fixatif. Painting oils on an unprotected airbrushed coat has a high risk of peeling paint off, and then you will be left with much more work. Sometimes you can get away with only one coat of oils on top of a well shaded basecoat, but plan for at least two on lighter colors. Still, a considerable time savings!

A caveat: keep in mind that when you use this technique, the final product won't have quite the same deep look as a paint job done completely in oils. This can be good or bad depending on your desired look. An airbrushed basecoat works best on dapple greys and colors where the oil paint is fairly opaque, like dark bays. Unless you're already a great airbrush artist and can paint a lively coat, lighter colors like palomino depend on having multiple layers of oils for depth and good shading.

1 comment:

Lucky said...

Mel, Do you have a finished photo of this horse? He is just wonderful!