Moving forward toward oil painting

by Carol
(UK)

My horse drawing

My horse drawing

I dabbled with oils just after I got married, which was almost 35 years ago! I can't say I was any good, mind.


With my children grown up and married with children of their own I decided it was time to return to my love of drawing and all things art.

I started with graphite pencils, and learned the difference between the different grades, and the techniques to use to get different textures in my drawings. I still had some old Walter-Foster books from when I was a teenager, which were great to look back at. Then I found the Internet and sites such as yours, and the wealth of information out there.

I then discovered colour pencils and the amazing art that was being produced with them. I jumped in with both feet and bought sets from ALL the major producers, trying them all until I found the brand I preferred.

Then I came up against a hiccup. My drawing skills were not up to scratch! I realized I was going to have to go back to basics and start over.

I discovered the grid method of enlarging a drawing and ensuring that all the features, for example, were in the right place. This helped tremendously! However, I came to the point where I didn’t want the grid showing on my finished piece. It was fine for practice sketches, but removing it with an eraser afterwards was tricky.

At this point I found a light table a useful piece of equipment. I could draw the grid on a sheet of paper, then lay it on the light table, with my drawing paper over the top. I still had the grid, which I could see through my drawing surface, to guide me, but a clean sheet of paper to work on.

I discovered that I didn’t need to complete an outline drawing first. I could go straight in and start shading with the pencil, working from a hard 2H or 4H to begin with, up to the softer B grades for the darker areas.

Once I learned how to represent tones in a picture with the different pencils and strokes I moved onto the coloured pencils again intending to then progress to oils. I haven’t quite reached that step yet, but intend to get there and your site is just what I need to help me. Thank you so much!

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