What draws you into your favorite pieces of art? Is it the use of color? The composition, perhaps? For Julie Gilbert Pollard, it’s the texture of the paint itself, specifically, in watercolor and oil paintings.
“When I’m looking at paintings in a gallery or museum, the ones that cause me to stop in my tracks because I can’t bear to look away, are those in which you can see the painterly brush marks and fluid, yummy paint,” Julie says. “Of course, there are many other qualities in a painting that instill this reaction, but I personally find that oil and watercolor are the ones that seem best suited to the type of juicy paint quality that draws me in, even before I have a chance to take in the entirety of a painting, with its color, shapes and subject matter. The paint itself is exquisite.”
Oil Painting Inspiration
Julie is featured in four new oil painting video workshops with ArtistsNetwork.tv (get all four plus a digital download on Quick Solutions to Better Painting), and she can tell you that the key to a beautiful oil painting is education.
“If you’re new to painting, or even after you’ve been painting for a while–maybe especially after you’ve been painting for a while–the amount of information you need to learn and assimilate can seem pretty overwhelming,” Julie says. “We’re usually surprised by that, because, really, it just doesn’t look that hard! But as Edgar Degas said, ‘Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.’ (Like this? Tweet it!)
“Experienced painters and beginners alike, we all have that glowing mental image of what we want our paintings to look like. All too often, however, somewhere between that mental image and the canvas, as that vision travels from our imagination, down our arm into our brush, something goes awry and we aren’t able to ‘make it happen.’ Experienced painters have learned to persevere! Study and practice your painting skills and try to take things in manageable steps. There’s a lot of valuable information and mentorship available. Take advantage of the experience of others in classes, books, videos, etc. As you continue to learn and become comfortable with the tools and techniques, you’ll be able to put it all together and the painting process will gradually become more intuitive. Just remember that your skills have to catch up with your vision. Enjoy the process, enjoy the challenge–it’s a wonderful adventure!”
Indeed, it is a wonderful adventure. My hope is that you make the most of it by arming yourself with the knowledge of artists such as Julie, who are here to guide you on your painting journey. Learn more about Julie’s Oil Painting Essentials video workshops so you can develop your own painting intuition.