Oil-painting-2 Oil-painting-3

Oil on canvas, 2008

I’m actually quite surprised at the standard of the painting. Looking at it, I’m thinking, “Wow, did I paint this?”. This is not to brag, but I feel that my current standard won’t be able to produce this, seeing how I’ve lost touch with painting! (That’s worrying!)

In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed that oil painting assignment. Firstly because it was something new, and it was something “professional” (as compared to poster colour on drawing block!). Secondly because it was quite therapeutic.

I admit I was quite surprised that I painted the clock in such a short period of time – about half a period. (The dried flowers were a different story, ironically) I like the clock because it looks pretty realistic (from afar). The details aren’t so good when zoomed in.

On the other hand, I had a love-hate relationship with the flowers. I had trouble at first, because I didn’t know how to paint dried flowers and make them look realistic. They weren’t meant to be round fluff balls, but were more undefined and undistinguished, as the photograph showed. (see post on “speaking a thousand words”!), which was hard. That’s why it looks slightly unrealistic – the way the light falls on each flower is too perfect. On the other hand, I like the detail I put into each flower, which took a lot of layers and patience. I like how the field of flowers ends before the clock – I was worried about how to make the flowers at the border look like they’re a layer in front of the clock, but it turned out pretty well! 🙂 As therapeutic and brainless it was to paint the flowers, I could have spent/wasted less time painting over the same few layers trying to make the flowers as perfect as possible though. I somehow think that was just slightly unnecessary. Time management’s always something I have to work on.

Another thing I like is the texture. I think I was inspired by Yi Lin’s painting for this, because she had added texture to hers and I thought it looked pretty nice! The bed of flowers (up to the black shadow at the bottom!) looks wispy and fluffy, which gives it a new dimension altogether!

However, something else I could have worked on was how the shading of the flowers gradually grows darker as it moves downward. It could have been more gradual, rather than a block of flowers in the light and another block in the shadow. This, unfortunately, takes a point of the realistic factor.

Another thing that I found difficult was the paper, which I was too burned out after obsessively painting and repainting the flowers to really pay attention to. That’s why I regret spending too much time and energy on the flowers.

On the whole, there are good points and bad points about the painting. I like the texture and the creativity it presents, but there’s always room for improvement.

Another thing I’d like to point out (which I actually realised quite long ago) is that I find that I work better with thick paint than watery kind. That’s why water colour’s not by best friend. I guess it’s something to do with being able to just apply layer over layer of paint if anything goes wrong, whereas if the paint is too thick for something more transparent and light, that’s it. At the same time, I find it therapeutic (yes, I love the word.) because the style is rich and more exciting to work with!