Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tools of the Trade - Still Life in Oil

I guess painting a vase full of paint brushes is more or less required at some point.  In my case, it happened because I got the urge to paint about 8 pm.   I didn't want to spend a lot of time gathering flowers and props, so I reached for what was in the studio.   In this case, I found a bottle of walnut oil, some W&N linseed oil, a small brown vase and some brushes. 

I used a linen panel that I had prepared some time back with a tone of burnt umber, I think.  When I applied the tone I experimented with adding some texture with a crumpled paper towel.  Generally, most of this would be hidden, even in a vignette style painting, but in this case I let it become the background.  I'm still undecided about whether it worked or not, but this was a quick sketch...something to have fun with on a Thursday I'll leave it as is.  I tried not to get fussy with this one.  When I started messing around with the brush shadows, I knew it was time to quit.  It was a pleasant two hours of painting.

Tools of the Trade   Oil on linen panel   12" x 12"

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art


  1. Bruce, My favorite part of the painting are the fabulous artist brushes. They have a patina of being the 'Real Thing" meaning they are the tools of the artist and they have been used and loved. I like this painting.

  2. Thank you Ruth. That's my favorite part too!!

  3. Bruce, your paintings are inspiring! I really do want to start learning to use oils, the stuff's in the art room just waiting on me but I don't know how to get started.

  4. Thank you for the kind words. If my paintings make you want to start, then they have been successful indeed!

    There are many great books on oil painting...most include some help on getting started. They will tell you the basics like brushes and canvas and mediums and they might have some assignments that you can follow to gain some direct knowledge. I know you can find some at the library. Also if you Google "beginning oil painting" you will come up with many free websites with great information. Check them out. There are hundreds of Utube videos also.

    Look for beginners workshops in your area too. That's a great way to get hands on experience.

    Good luck and have fun.