I don’t like it either

I’m calling this one done. Abandoned might be a better term.


Aside from the sky, which I really like, there’s so much I don’t like about this one that it’ll end up stacked against a few others on the floor of my library until it’s eventually thrown away. Here’s a photo from the end of my first session with this one:


I was more hopeful at that point. I really like that, even an hour or two after I paint a section, I can just wipe it off if it doesn’t look right. Hence the light brown next to the planted field. I’d made it far too wide.

My main issues are the trees and field. With all the paint I added, the trees are an opaque mess. The field has the opposite problem, and you can see the gesso underneath. I just got frustrated and wasn’t having fun messing with it anymore.

But I learned something! Part of the reason I think the cloud worked out so well was that I had an acrylic underpainting underneath. Here, it’s just white gesso. If I had used that technique here, I think I’d be much happier with the result. I’ll definitely be making that underpainting next time.

Another problem could be that my oil paints are student grade Soho. I know from experience with acrylics and watercolor that there’s a huge difference between student and artist grade paints, so maybe I was wrong to try student grade first. I’m seriously considering ordering a set of Gamblin and seeing if I like those better. I’m pretty sure I would.

Hello (again) World!

Sooo I’m finally back. You might remember my old, long-running book blog. I’ve finally tossed it out. (Not really. It’s archived. I might post that archive somewhere at some point, but for now, it’s essentially gone.) I stopped blogging a few years ago because it started to feel like a job: I was in a hurry to finish books so I could review them, and I got tired of that cycle. So I took a roughly 3-year break with a few posts on and off.

No, the book blog isn’t back. Sure, I might talk about books from time to time, but my new focus is more generally Stuff I Like to Do. It’ll mostly include art and tech and, of course, dog photos. Part of my reasoning is that I have a new job where I basically get to go to work and practice my hobbies, then teach other people how to do them.

I’m the Programming Specialist for a 21-branch library system. Until May, I had a super boring back office records job, but now I get to have more fun, and I have more time to explore my interests. I hope you’ll enjoy sharing those interests with me.

One of said interests is new, and it’s oil painting. I’ve been painting in general for about a year (my first time was at a library program!), but I just picked up oils for the first time this past weekend. They’re sooooo different from anything I’ve tried before (if you’re wondering: acrylic, watercolor, and gouache), and they’re a big challenge. Here’s my first oil painting, based on a Youtube tutorial by Robin Sealark:


I am soooooooo happy with how it turned out. I fell in love with oils immediately. They blend beautifully! One thing I’m having to adjust to, though, is that I can’t seem to get the level of detail I can get with any of those other mediums, which is driving me crazy. It seems like oil paint brushes are plain ol’ bigger, and the paint tends to goop up on them. I have some linseed oil to thin it, but I don’t want to use too much because I started out with cheapish (Soho) paints to see if this iteration of my art hobby sticks. Here’s a photo of the painting in action, including the ton of brushes required:


That’s another thing I’m having to adjust to: with acrylics, you have to be careful to clean each brush as you stop using it so the paint doesn’t dry on it and ruin it. With oil paint, you have several brushes going at once – and I’m quickly finding that I don’t have enough! I’ll be ordering a bunch more soon.

I’ll call that it for the first post on my refreshed blog. I have some others planned that have nothing to do with art (and everything to do with art), so stay tuned.