Hello folks! 

Seems like it's a bit sparse in these waters, so I'm gonna throw a pebble into the pool and see what we can stir up!

This is a painting I recently finished in which I used a scratching technique that is usually employed in landscapes (to make the tree trunks in far away tree lines and branches closer up)

Let see what we can do with this magnolia blossom:

Lets start with a toned canvas that has our magnolia blossom already inked in.

We then do our preliminary umber under painting to establish our darks.

Then our gray layer that establishes all of our half tones and shadows.

Here's our finished painting with all the colors and highlights added.


These close ups show where I employed a scratching technique to expose the slightly darker gray underneath the final color layer.  This gave the illusion of the fine veins that run through out the petal.


A few additional added touches are done to give the viewer some additional interest.  The top arrow is a highlight that has a bit of yellow in it to simulate sunlight. This was done throughout the paintings, but not of every highlight.   It really made this fold roll over for me.

I also added a little leaf tip, exaggerating the original from the photo, because I felt this helped pull the veiwer into the painting.


The completed work above.  Hope you enjoyed this tip! 

Till next time...

Comments and suggestions welcome.  Have you got a question? Post it in this forum, I may be able to help!

I just gotta figure out how to make this thing ring my bell when someone responds.

Easy Oil Painting Techniques

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Hi Delmus, I am new to your works and didn't see if this was oil or acrylic? You are using some tec. I haven't seen before and don't quite understand. I have seen people using this method but have never done the under paintings and don't understand the layers.  I think you start by looking at the whole thing in a different way than I do.  Perhaps I could come back and we could talk about this another time.

Hi again, Silly me I didn't even see the heading on OILs, guess I was too  busy looking at the works..but I still want to learn more. Do acrylic painters do under painting too??

Hi Unruly, to answer your question, yes, this technique lends itself well to acrylics from what I have been told.  I don't personally have experience with acrylics however.  What dealings I have had with them were failures.  This was more to do with not understanding the materials rather than technique.  I hope this helps.

Unruly Orange said:

Hi again, Silly me I didn't even see the heading on OILs, guess I was too  busy looking at the works..but I still want to learn more. Do acrylic painters do under painting too??

Love your skill,I'm a little staid but I'll surely use your technique on my next rose, and thank you.

It's been awhile since I've added any thing to this discussion.  But I remember questions about acrylic being used with this technique.  Below you will find a number of photo's and a small discussion in using acrylics as an underpainting that dries extremely fast and allows you to get into painting the rest of the picture in oils. 

I hope you enjoy the talk.

We start with a drawing that is sealed with gel medium, acrylic.

we then begin an acrylic underpainting based on grays only.

here is the final gray underpainting.  this establishes the overall tone and shadows of the piece.

then the fun begins with a full set of colors.  each main color has a dark, medium and light.

top section color is laid in.  there are some areas where I wish the transition would be better, but the acrylic underpainting dried so fast I could not get the normal range of blending that I do with oils.  It seems however to be enough to work with.

color being blocked in, then blended. below is the full first color layers.  I will only need to add a finishing layer that will bring up the details within the patterned cloth and highlights through out the work.

The final shows all what I would normally put in, this painting with the acrylic start was done fairly quickly because the full underpainting was completed within a few hours and dried.  I only had to wait overnight after the initial color layer to complete the finishing layer.

It is titled: MacIntosh in Silver.  it is a 24" x 36" oil painting on gallery wrapped canvas.  Thanks for veiwing!

Thank you for sharing Delmus, love seeing how it's all put together! Beautiful job!

Oh!  I failed to mention, with the acrylics, I used a medium "flow" that helped extend the paint and prevent it from drying super fast.  It still didn't blend as nicely as oils do, but it did get the job done. 

Thanks Pat!

Pat said:

Thank you for sharing Delmus, love seeing how it's all put together! Beautiful job!

Thank you Delmus for sharing, it was fascinating to watch your process and thank you for explaining all your techniques, I loved both paintings, the flower and the apples. All the best

Magnolias and gardenias are my fav. flowers. You have such wonderful ways of making it look so real. Want to pick it up. I did oil 20 some odd yrs ago and did magnolias for my first flower by myself. I always went to class. They turned out very good, not as shiny and perfect as yours but I like them and so did others. I am going back now and try oils again after seeing this. Thank you for this wonderful painting.

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