I love trying new media and subject matter, and this painting falls into both of these categories. Whilst I tried oil paints some time ago, it was not a medium that was very practical when painting at home with limited space. Having my studio has taken away those restrictions and given me the working space I need to be able to leave my work ready to just pick up and carry on with whenever I want.
This particular painting was done with Alkyd Oils which dry overnight. This allows you to work on top of dry paint within 24 hours and work in layers, whilst still retaining all of the normal attributes of standard oil paints, including the wonderful ability to blend for those out of focus backgrounds.
Rather than canvas, I chose to paint this on MDF board which I covered with several layers of gesso, and then sanded with a block and very fine sand paper to try and get as smooth a surface as possible. This was so I could try and achieve a level of detail that I needed when painting the detail on the blue tit. After sanding the board, I then went on to cover with a watery layer of acrylic raw sienna paint to give me a mid tone starting point. The background was achieved with wet into wet paint blended with a large soft mop brush, whilst the blue tit was achieved by painting a basic underpainting in darker tones followed by detailed brush work once the underpainting had dried. The fun part of this painting was getting my fingers into the paint in an effort to try and obtain as much texture as I could on the bark on the branch. Overall I was pleased with this little painting, and will now be exploring more subject matter in oils.