Anastasia O'Melveny - Visual Artist & Photographer

Oil Painting Process

My main interest with oil painting is achueving a  realistic effect.  Not necessarily photo realistic but definitely image identifiable. Recently, In my Blue Still Life with Shell,   I experimented with an impressionistic style, placing points of color in proximity to one another and I was quite pleased with that painting.  My currrent pieces - several still lifes and pet portraits, while more realiastic,  seem to be utilizing a little of that new flavor particularly when it comes to brushwork and color choices.   


I usually begin my paintings by choosing a color for a toned ground to act as a foundation.  Often I select a color that appears only sporadically in the finished painting, since choosing it for the ground will unify the painting.  I then proceed to make a line drawing of the subject and transfer it to the canvas or panel using charcoal or graphite.  For my realistic paintings,  I then make a grisile - a monotone - either in greys  or umbers, followed by layers of glazing for the colors.  For the more impressionistic works I proceed directly with spots of color as seen, and eventually the spots come together as a whole.


I usually use commercial paint, but occasionally I grind my own pigments. I use both canvas and gessoed panels.   I highly recommend the Gamblin line of oil paints and mediums. Their new Fastmatte line is wonderful for underpaintings and Grisailles.  I also employ their      Neo-megilp medium for glazing - a modern non-toxic version of the Old Master's Maroger Medium - to good effect.

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