When I’m painting, I tend to use oils. Oils have depth, soul, ooomph. I just can’t get on with watercolours… they just don’t have the expression or attitude of an oil paint. I love layering, using the texture. I love having the flexibility to tinker. I completely immerse myself in a painting - I just can’t do that with watercolours.
Having said that, I sometimes use watercolours (or water-soluble colour pencils) when out sketching, just for the sheer convenience.
Acrylics are ok, but they dry in an instant, and they lack the personality of an oil paint.
You’ll have noticed that in many of my paintings I use a combination of media: usually oil paint and pen & ink (and sometimes charcoal). To some, mainly traditionalists, this is an aberration. For me, it creates a rhythm and movement (if you know what I mean) that is difficult to achieve with paint alone.
I also often leave chunks of the canvas uncovered. Again, this is something that just feels right to me. I love the contrast of rich, layered oil paint alongside the bare linen canvas. Paintings are so subjective… and I do not paint to please others - if I did, I reckon the result would be bland.
I’ve recently been introducing a bit of colour to my pen & ink drawings, which have always been monotone. In the past I’ve shied away from watercolour… it felt a bit wishy-washy, but I’m realising what a wonderful medium it can be.
I’m slowly gathering confidence, and am thoroughly enjoying it. As with drawing in general, it’s a case of doing a little every day - and it’s amazing how quickly things evolve.
The thing I most enjoy though, is the spontaneity of it. Unlike oil, it needs to be worked very quickly, and that keeps me on my toes!
I am a founder member of the ‘Vejer Sketchers’, a wonderful group of local artists who meet on a weekly basis to draw the streets of Vejer en masse. It’s a great opportunity to counteract the solitude of painting, and we give each other practical advice and, most importantly, support and motivation.
Our youngest member is Deia, my 6-year old daughter!