Art at Home

Bold & Uninhibited

Oil & Cold Wax Painting

This workshop is scheduled for September 25-27, 2020.

[click here for details]

SERENA BARTON

Serena loves to provide an atmosphere where you can discover or rekindle your creative abilities. She provides lots of individual attention and feedback as desired. Her goal is to help you learn, experiment, and have fun!

Serena lives in Portland, OR, where she offers creativity and art workshops, groups, and individual art coaching. She exhibits and sells her work in galleries and online. She teaches around the United States and in Europe. She is a contributor to several art books and magazines.

Her books, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop and Wabi-Sabi Painting with Cold Wax are published by North Light. [http://www.serenabarton.com]

A simple abstract landscape is a great way to experiment with oil and cold wax.

You’ll need:

  • 8 oz. of cold wax medium
  • a basic set of oil paints
  • a palette knife
  • a Messermeister bowl scraper or a squeegee-like tool (an old credit card will do), and
  • a sheet of Arches Oil Paper or MultiMedia Artboard.

If you want, you may use blue tape to tape over the edges of the oil paper. Make sure the tape adheres tightly to the paper. You can start your piece by making marks with a graphite marker that makes heavy marks.

Choose the color you’d like to use first. It’s interesting to make one part of the piece with a transparent color and the other with an opaque color. Your paint tubes should tell you which kind they are on the back. For this demonstration piece, I used Cadmium Yellow, an opaque color, on the bottom of the painting.

Squeeze out the oil paint onto a palette or a sheet of parchment paper. Mix the color with cold wax in a 50-50 ratio, until the mixture is no longer shiny.

Spread the oil and cold wax with your squeegee, holding it at an angle. You can make the horizon line uneven if you want to. Use texture tools to make texture and marks in the paint you’ve put down. Some simple texture tools are combs, ridged coffee sleeves, rubber jar openers, or bubble wrap.

Spread the oil and cold wax with your squeegee, holding it at an angle. You can make the horizon line uneven if you like.

Use texture tools to make texture and marks in the paint you’ve put down. Some simple texture tools are combs, ridged coffee sleeves, rubber jar openers, or bubble wrap.

Choose a different color for the top of the paper. I used a transparent purple here. Do some more texturing in this transparent part at the top.

Put a piece of crumpled tissue paper over the painting in progress. Brayer or press down lightly over the piece.

Put the piece aside until it feels close to dry. Then, put a transparent color over the opaque part of the piece with your squeegee. Pull back in a few areas to show some of the original layer of paint. I used a transparent green-gold over the yellow first layer.

Add a little opaque color to the transparent layer. I used Titanium White mixed with the purple to get an uneven effect. Let some of the graphite marks show if you like the look.

Try some incising with a bamboo skewer or even your fingernail. I added a bit of the top color to the very bottom of my piece. I also added some white dots with my fingertips over some of the top part of the painting. Feel free to add any finishing touches you want.

When you decide you like the piece, remove the tape with clean hands. You’ll have a nice border to set off your piece.

A Video for Shake Rag Alley

Serena Barton