Amateur Alchemy


I’ve tried and tried in vain to get oil paints to work for me. They’re slow, I’m inpatient. However I was forced to try again in a painting workshop last week, and dare I say it, I might be slowly starting to come round to the idea of working in oils.

Firstly, why did I never consider using acrylic for the under-painting before?! It seems so obvious now, that with it drying so much faster than oils, I can start the actual painting so much quicker now – even the same day! Secondly, I never knew all of the possibilities when it comes to oil paint mediums. To hear that you can add a fast drying medium to the paint, which could leave it try overnight was the best news I’ve ever heard! We also learnt about mixing up paints from pigment – I love the way that it feels like making potions when you’re a kid. Mixing up pigment, medium and turps in old jars and tins from the kitchen felt like some kind of colourful, amateur alchemy.



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