In Art, Painting on
November 6, 2016

Exploring Oil Painting

You know that art set they usually gave artsy children in the 1990’s and early 2000’s? The one with complete set of oil pastels, colour pens, charcoal pencils, erasers, sharpeners, etc.? I can only reminisce the feeling of getting one for Christmas. Seeing the neatly stored colors on that piece of plastic box gave me warm feelings inside as a child.

I am not sure why I had to mention that, but the familiar warm feeling comes back to me whenever I dabbled in art related activities as an adult. This year, I was able to explore dip pen calligraphy, brush calligraphy, water color lettering, water color painting, and planner decorating. Now I am into oil painting.


My cluttered and makeshift work space.


I bought a mixing palette but it was too small so I wrapped some aluminum foil on my clipboard and improvised.


My good old flat and round brushes I once used for watercolor painting.

I got student grade oil colors, an 8″ x 8″ canvass, a charcoal pencil, and a few mixing knives. I used my old paint brushes because I couldn’t find brushes in Jarir Bookstore. As a newbie, I didn’t know I needed a medium and thinner before I head on to painting, so I made do with what I had.


My tubes of colors. How lovely.

I was also not aware of the drying time of oil colors. The blue background was my first layer, and I waited around 5 days until it became dry to touch. It was not completely dry, you could feel that the paint could come off if handled roughly, but it was ready for the next layer.

Within that 5 days of drying time, I had time to think about what to put on the next layer. I know, I recklessly started a painting without actually knowing what it is. I just acted on instincts, I wanted a blue background, so I did a blue background. I couldn’t care less what I would put next until later on that I actually needed to. I was initially thinking of a burning ember to be painted in the middle, but I scratched that idea when I realized this one would appeal to me better.


“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.” – Harun Yahya

I tried my best to act on feelings and emotions, rather than the technical. Sure, you could find similar paintings on Google, but this one is the product of my heart. I am this bird. I can fly anywhere, but I don’t. Soon enough, I will let go. I will stop hanging around in my tree, and I will just fly and let go.

Humans do not need art in their lives once in a while. Life is art itself.

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