Joy (cithra) wrote,
Joy
cithra

artisticly ignorant questions for my ever-patient friends

I've been given a combination set of art materials which contains some oil paints and accompanying accouterments (brushes, pallet & pallet knife, and a couple of bottles of what I think are thinner or cleaner or such). I've done some reading and research and have at least ascertained that I will need some sort of prepared canvas on which to apply them (should I ever venture so far). But finally figuring that out leads me to think that a lot of the references make some assumptions that I know more than I do about the process in general.

So I have a couple of questions for my more artistically inclined and knowledgeable friends that I haven't been able to get answered to my satisfaction. First: what is the shelf-life on this kind of thing? I know oil paints don't so much dry as oxidize, so will they have set up in the tubes over the several years I have been carting them about in a box? Second and more importantly - because this is the thing I really haven't been able to get a handle on - how labor intensive is this as a medium? Compared to say, watercolors?

I'm sure that sounds naive, but I've never worked with anything besides watercolors or water-soluable acrylic paints, and as I read along about preparation and work space and so forth wrt oils I'm starting to think they aren't exactly the sort of thing I can conveniently play with for an afternoon and then put away again. If that is the case I want to know before I've gotten myself and the utility room covered in toxic chemicals. I don't want to spend more time on prep and clean up than I do on actually trying to be creative right now, or it will be more discouraging than it's worth in terms of exploration.

You may have guessed correctly that this is part of my working through the book The Artist's Way. Yes, I'm still plugging along - this is about week 7 - and I've learned some interesting things about my assumptions and unexamined ideas about art, at least. So it's been good in that way. I'm probably still not doing it "right" but since she has a section on how stifling perfectionism is, I'm doing my best to ignore those intimations and do what I can do to get what I can out of it. Eh.
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