About Oil Painting

I paint in oils, using brushes, palette knives, or a combination of the two.

Oil is the medium I use for all my work. I have tried acrylics, which have certain advantages, but found I didn’t enjoy the process as much.

Oils can be challenging, due to the nature of the paints and how different hues and mixtures dry differently or have different opacity. However this, for me, is part of the pleasure of painting. It’s always different depending on the subject, lighting and size of commission.

My recent work has been larger and I discovered that there are benefits to working big. One of these is the impact of the paintings, another is the fact that I have to work ‘looser’ initially to get coverage on the canvas (this stops me from getting too fixated on the detail and allows me to make progress early on).

I try to bring some vibrancy to my subject so don’t attempt a purely photographic representation. Instead I attempt to use colour to create a more dynamic representation of what I see.

Painting portraits is not something I considered when I was younger, I avoided portraying faces where possible.

Now I find they’re what I really enjoy doing. I think it’s the challenge of capturing the right expression. The slightest change to a face can alter the expression, which I believe is from our thousands of years of ‘reading’ faces to enhance our survival!



Video of portrait progression