Jeff Allyn's Oil Painting Process
From traditional techniques to textural sculpted color bursts.
In the beginning of my painting adventure, I followed the more traditional oil painting techniques of sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint. I mixed my pigments with linseed oil and thinned with mineral spirits as required. Vincent Van Gogh was and is my muse. In keeping with his process of thick textural line work and bold color compositions, I worked with a palette knife to apply my paint in a sculptural fashion.
My first painting took nearly two years to complete. Due to the thickness of the pigment I was applying, the drying time between layers was about 6 weeks. After the final layer, it was an additional three months before I was able to varnish.
What I learned from the experience was that I love oil painting, but I wanted to discover a way to maintain the thick sculptural texture of my art work while reducing the extended drying time. Part of my fine arts training included sculpture. Then, the idea came to me that by sculpting a thick textural under painting to the surface of my canvases, I could then apply thinner fast drying colors over the sculpted base.
I began researching and testing many media choices. Choices that can be used with the oil, including cold wax, resins, and varnishes. These additional media can also be used in adjusting the pigments translucency, its sheen, the density of the paint, and the paints ability to hold or conceal my brush strokes. Finally, the solution had been found!