Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day

The combination of life drawing in the morning and painting at night resulted in a very productive day of art. Not only did I get a lot of drawing practice in but I was able to try out a new medium and my first painting on oil primed linen.

Here is the normal open studio drawings, but today I had a tough time as I was focusing on accuracy and trying to place each line as best as possible, so it was a real test of my patience.

Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, warmup
Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, 1.5 minute gestures
1.5 minute gestures
Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, 5 minute poses
5 minute poses

I wish my lines were much cleaner on these 5 minute drawings.

Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, 15 minute pose
15 minute pose

For the rest of the drawings I begin by placing marks close to the top and the bottom of the page. These represent that full height of the figure and the purpose is to place the figure within this pre-defined area. I have always avoided doing this, but recently I have recognized its importance especially when working on a painting where I need to place a figure in a particular position on the canvas.

Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, 15 minute pose
15 minute pose

I’m moving slowly through these drawings with no focus on detail. I’m just trying to abstract the contour of the body into simple yet accurate angles.

Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, 30 minute pose
30 minute pose

Even though I don’t have near a finished drawing I still have a closely accurate foundation. I believe that great drawings are decided within the first 30 to 60 minutes of their construction. It doesn’t matter how well I can render value if the leg is too long or the head is too large.

Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, 30 minute pose
30 minute pose
Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, 30 minute pose
30 minute pose

This drawing went really well, I was able to move through the pose accurately and a bit faster. As you can see I returned to the head and began working through the figure again refining the contour.

After attending the open studio I could have relaxed the rest of the day but I purchased materials for a slow dry medium and I was itching to try out some new canvas I purchased.

Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, satsuma and vase
Satsuma and vase

For this painting I used a Centurion 5×7 Oil primed linen. I have tried oil primed canvas before, but I had done it myself with a Gambil oil ground and I must say that the Centurion is far superior. It is a bit more slick than normal acrylic gesso primed boards that I’m used to but I loved the slight tooth of the canvas and its minimal absorption.

Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, setup
Satsuma and vase setup

I also mixed up the medium I will be working with for the near future. I went ahead and mixed the medium directly into my paint piles as I want my paint to have a lower viscosity as I paint, plus I would like it to stay wet on my palette for much longer. I still have a small cup of the medium handy so I can adjust the viscosity as I go if I need.

  • 10 parts Gamsol
  • 5 parts stand oil
  • 1 part refined linseed oil
  • 5 parts Venice turpentine
  • 2 parts oil of cloves

This medium recipe will slow the drying time, lower the viscosity, and increase the gloss. This medium originated from as I prefer Mr Carder’s pragmatic approach to painting and after researching the properties of each ingredient I see that it does what I need.

Life Drawing and Oil Painting Productive Day, subject
Subject photo

I did find a flaw in my palette colors though. Currently I’m using;

  • Titanium white
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Burnt Umber

But when trying to paint the high chroma areas of the orange I found that I couldn’t reach the color with Alizarin and Cadmium Yellow Medium, so I had to pull out a tube of Cadmium Yellow Deep that I had in my drawer of discarded paints. It looks like I will have to keep a Cadmium Red, and maybe Prussian blue and Cadmium Lemon for those high chroma colors I may run in to.

Session Details

  • Session: 1065
  • Work: 894
  • Width: 7"
  • Height: 5"
  • Medium: Charcoal, Oil
  • Location: Hipbone Studio, Home
  • Art Time: 5
  • Creative Time:



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Christopher Beaven

Christopher Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."

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2 Responses

  1. Wonderful work! Really beautiful. Your painting style is so strong and has a very decisive, even masculine, feel to it. The tangerine really speaks to me. By the way, I don’t know how you manage to get in all the artwork and art study, and the writing on your blog, and a full-time job and a relationship. You are amazing! I’m grateful for all you share. Also, because of a gap of about 4-6 months of not following your blog, after getting disconnected somehow, I can really see the leap in your skill level in your drawing and painting! Yay Chris!

    1. Thanks again Jana, for all your comments 🙂 One of the biggest things on my todo list is to make a page devoted to what I do to keep motivated and how I’m able to keep doing art daily, one day I will get to writing it.

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