This is the first post of “Module 0: Getting ready” for participants of my online program, “The making of a great painting: Learning how to learn from masters”. The program is intended to guide participants through an in-depth study of a painting masterpiece. This series can be also be helpful to you if you intend to make a painting study of a masterpiece on your own.
Basically, there are two “right” answers to this question:
One is to stay as close as possible to how the original work was done. With the exception of one lithographic print, all masterpieces participating in the program (so far) are oil paintings, so that would be oils.
The other is to use your own medium of choice: the medium (or one of the mediums) you are working with now. For some of you that would be oils, too, so there is really no question. But what if that’s not the case?
I suggest that, at least for the purposes of this program, it’s better to stay with the medium you are familiar and comfortable with. There will be plenty to learn and to struggle with without adding all the challenges of getting acquainted with a new medium.
There are two (interrelated) exceptions, however:
- You want to use this opportunity is to try oil painting, or to return to oil painting, and you consider working with oils in the future, after this program is over. If that’s your intention, you will need to adjust your painting set-up, or organize a new one for oil painting (please follow the link for my suggestions how to do this).
- You want to study oil-specific techniques of creating colour and surface effects. To some extent, this can be done in acrylics, so if this is your medium, this might be an option. In this case, you will probably need to buy a retarding medium (to decrease the drying time and make your acrylics behave in a more oil-like fashion). Another option, of course, is to try oils; if this is your choice, please read my suggestions here.