Getting Ready to Paint Softly

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in

The beginning of the “soft painting” process is to prepare the “base coat” mixture of Raw Sienna and Boiled Linseed Oil. Think of a tube of artist oil paint as being like a tube of tooth paste and squeeze into a shallow pan a 3/4 inch strip of oil paint and then add two table spoons of Boiled Linseed Oil and mix up with a palette knife by squashing the paint into the oil. Then take a stiff bristled brush and stir the mixture in a scrubing action to dissolve as much of the paint into the oil until it is the color and consistency of warm honey. When thoroughly mixed apply the base coat mixture liberally on the carving beginning at the top and work your way down making sure the base coat has reached every crevice, nook and cranny. Let base coat stand for a couple of minutes on the carving and then take a couple of sheets of Kleenex tissue to blot off the excess oil and paint mixture. Use a “flat” dry artist brush to reach areas where the paper tissue did not reach, wiping the brush off on tissue to keep it absorbant. Since Boiled Linseed Oil on paper tissues or rags is highly combustable, dispose of the soiled Kleenex tissues in a jar or can of water with a lid as they become soiled. The formula for the amount of artist oil paint and Boiled Linseed Oil is a trail and error experiment. If the color is too heavy, add more oil. If it is too thin, add more paint. The “base coat” will be the largest mixture made, for when the other colors are used they only cover a small portion of the carving. To mix the other colors use a plastic coffee can lid as a palette to receive a very small dab of paint and a few drops of Boiled Linseed Oil. Use a palette knife to squash and stir the mixture together. There is no point of trying to mix up a big batch and try to save it in jars. It works better to mix as needed and then dispose of what is not used by cleaning up with Kleeniz tissues which are disposed of into a jar or can of water with a closable lid. The mixture of artist oil paint and Boiled Linseed Oil is to make a thin stain, so thin that the grain of the wood shows through the colors. How subtle or rich the colors can only be determined by expirementing. The same goes for the kind of brushes used, but the better the artist brush, the better it will serve through the years. Wax paper is used to protect work surfaces and the carver may want to wear an apron to protect clothing. In order to get close and personal with the carving while painting it will be necessary to hold the carving in one hand while painting with brush in the other. Once the base coat is on, the hand holding the carving will become oily making Kleeniz tissue a welcome guest towel.