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Today’s video clip is a bit longer than usual. The point of the video is to show you how you can stay cool in a tight spot. It also shows how forgiving the oil painting medium is. The most important thing is how Bill solves problems “in the moment.”
Artists solve problems
I heard a guy say a while back that “artists solve problems.” And isn’t that what happens when you’re painting? Everything goes along just fine and then, uh oh, something goes wrong. It’s something that can stop you dead in your tracks. If you let your emotions get away from you, the problem gets worse instead of better.
Watch how Bill handles this problem while he’s painting, in front of the camera, with the clock ticking!
Bill gets himself in trouble because he forgets to mix his Magic Black Medium. Bill uses the old Magic Black, not the new Artist’s Black™ Medium we use now. Like the old Magic White™, there was a lot of oil in the can, and it floated on top of the paint. Bill forgot to mix the black when he applied it to the canvas.
Bill says it in today’s clip, but he’s said it before. “A thinner paint will stick to a thicker paint.”
But, wait, you say, isn’t Magic White™ a thin paint? How can you put thick paint on a thin layer of Magic White™?
How does Magic White™ work?
Bill answers that question in other videos. The reason you can put thick paint on top of a thin layer of Magic White™ is simple. It is because the oil in the Magic White™ gets absorbed into the canvas. It is almost as if the Magic White™ isn’t there. Behold the genius of Bill’s wet-on-wet technique. Because the Magic White™ is applied so thinly, his first layer of thick paint adheres to the canvas and,he can mix colors on the canvas rather than on his palette. Bill doesn’t say, “The white is your biggest helper,” for nothing!
It’s interesting to see what happens when Bill makes a mistake. He doesn’t try to cover it up or pretend it was on purpose. He brings it to your attention so you can see how to fix the problem if it happens to YOU.
So there’s too much oil on the canvas.
What does he do?
Part of the solution is to continue brushing the paint and spreading the oil. He could stall for time while the canvas absorbs the extra oil. Bill, though, doesn’t want to waste any time. He takes some of his thick black paint from his palette and brushes it into the oily area. That makes the paint thicken up, so he’s back to being able to mix on the canvas.
Watch how Bill has fun with what happened while he shows you how to fix the problem.
We love the line, “We always have a weapon.” And that’s true. You always have a way out of your problem with oil paint. It wasn’t the chosen medium of the Old Masters for nothing. The more mistakes you make, the better you’ll get at fixing problems and then avoiding them in the future.
So…the next time you face a problem, stop! Slow down. If you can’t think of a solution right away, get up and walk away from the canvas. Sitting and fretting is not going to help. You need to calm down, drink a cup of hot tea, and then go back and attack the problem. You’ll find it was not as terrible as you thought and you’ll be a better painter because of it.
We’re making some changes to our website. One thing that won’t change, though, is our commitment to your success as an artist. Check out our list of courses (with more on the way).