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Demonstration by Alex Roch

Visit her at www.alexroch.com - Email her here.

Water Mixable Oils, Still Life, 4 December 2009

Alex had more to say about the materials she was using than about the actual painting process.

She was using Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable (sic) Oils, finding them to be a good alternative to conventional oils, particularly for "en pleine air" work:
Paint from the tube remains workable for several days.
Since it can be stored in a watercolour box/palette there is no need to take tubes with you for a weekend's painting.
There is no smell of turps.
Retarder mediums are available if the weather makes it dry too quickly.
It can be diluted right down to watercolour texture - particularly useful if you want the effect of paint running down the support.
It's cheaper than ordinary oils.
Ordinary semi-matt or re-touching varnish can be used to bring up the colours.
Lacks the "plastic" look of acrylic

Source: Original painting
(Apologies for blurry photo, Webmaster)
Her support was canvas, bought as a pad, perhaps 16" x 12". Tonight's was from Italy but you can get it from Jackson's. Again, this is very convenient if you are working away from home. When she's about to come home she tapes completed work to bits of cardboard, separating them with small slices of cork, a few mm thick, to avoid smudging.

The composition of tonight's still-life arrangement and its interpretation had already been determined when Alex was doing the original painting. The canvas had been prepared with penciled outlines of the whole picture, although she sometimes prefers to do the initial drawing with a brush, in thin paint.
She originally used hog brushes but now prefers something softer, relying entirely, as far as I could see, on Pro Arte flat brushes of up to a couple of cm width, even for the tiniest of marks.

Alex uses a limited palette: a couple of blues; a couple of reds, 2 or 3 yellows; magenta rose and white.

Unfortunately she had pre-mixed the colours that she was going to need this evening so we got no advice on how they were achieved but this did mean that she was able to start painting immediately, almost by numbers.
The paint seemed to behave much like slow-drying acrylic. New layers did not pick up dried underneath colour but highlights on top of fresher paint had to be applied with light touches rather than strokes. At the end of the demo (below) she confirmed that she would be continuing at home, re-painting the background in a colour nearer the original green and making a few final touches.

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