Portrait in Water-Mixable Oil Paint

I am always collecting source material for paintings, and I like to mix and match for portraiture, for example, this face, with that hairstyle, or this body with that head, etc.
Picasso said that in order to create, one must destroy. I look at the face, and do a few drawings to distort the proportions, and stylise the features. Next, i position the figure within the border for what i feel to be an appropriate composition.
The ground for this work was black gesso.

Female Bust 303.400mm scanned 26.02.16 for web

Bust of Female


Oil on Panel

Recent Experiments in Style and Technique

Female Portrait in B and W 001 for web

Pensive Face

Oil on Oil Painting Paper


With this technique I am attempting to minimalise detail, and use the graphic power of  intense lighting in black and white. It is very inspired by the expressions on Byzantine mosaic portraits. Also you will notice the enlarged eyes and the closeness to the eyebrows.

Left hand 1 001 for web

Left hand #1

Acrylic on Panel


This is my first try at using a palette knife. I did end up using a little brush work as well. The idea is that it will be easier on my rheumatism, and strain the hand less than using a brush. Also, it should allow me to incorporate a more expressionistic style. My left hand was the obvious subject matter.


My First Painting with Water Mixable Oil Paint

I have done a lot of oil painting in the past, but it was always with toxic solvents, and as I became more health conscious, I wanted to stop that practice, and use acrylics instead. I hated the fact that acrylics always dried up too quickly, so if you spend all that time mixing a skin tone or something, it’ll dry out in no time, so if you want to keep that colour workable, you’re forced to use a retarding medium, which gives the paint a goopy consistency.

Part of the joy of painting, for me, is the unintended effects, and intuitive fun you can have due to the paint remaining workable on the surface of the piece. I heard of water mixable oil paints last year, and so, read various reviews on the net about peoples’ experiences with them. You can never really know until you give it a try, so I purchased a tube of black and white, with the intention of using water to thin the paint for the initial layers, and then linseed oil as the medium for subsequent layers.

It felt so good to be painting with oils again!

Portrait of Female Model 26.01.2015

Study with Water Mixable Oils

Portrait of Female Model

Oil on Primed Cardboard


Experimental Collage with Photocopies

I photocopied the previous collages and then cut these into strips and glued them side-by-side. As a piece in itself I’m not so keen on it, but I may think of a way to make good use of this work and/or this method. The whole thing is an A3 which I originally intended to cut in half, to make two A4 pieces, but I’ll wait on that, as I might try painting over it as it is. It gave me a good excuse to try my smartphone’s scanning app, anyway.

photocopy cutup collage 1