Monthly Archives: August 2011

Emerald Lake in Banff- First Oil Painting Ever!


About a month ago, I started taking private oil painting lessons from Tanzina Rahman.  She is professionally trained, and she really knows her stuff :) One thing I really enjoyed about these lessons, was that my teacher wasn’t the type to take too much control of the painting. She would quickly show me what to do, then let me run with it. I was holding the paintbrush about 95% of the time, and she was giving continuous feedback and tips. It was also a bonus that she came over to my place for the lessons! I’ve always been interested in trying oils,and I hoped to benefit from my mother’s oil-painting genes (Even though my acrylic painting skills are quite pathetic). Until I heard back from my teacher whom I found online (My mother hasn’t painted in nearly 2 decades), I didn’t even own a single tube of oil paint. So to me, this is all 100% new. My teacher suggested that I her started with a landscape, as landscapes are very forgiving. I decided to challenge myself and pick a landscape with trees, water and mountains. I also picked something with a bridge, to include a bit of perspective.

Here is my oil painting on 16×20 inch canvas, of Emerald Lake at Yoho National Park at the border of BC and Alberta. (Yes, the Glacial water IS that blue). I also included a picture of my new “arts corner” complete with my easel :)

Oil painting has its benefits and disadvantages. It is by far the most amazing medium I have ever worked with. The scope is unbelievable, and the textures make the entire painting come alive. Also, once dry, the fresh layers of paint have colours that are as vivid as the original layer, making the medium itself very forgiving. Getting depth with oil painting is about a million times easier as getting the same depth with pencil. However, it is not something you can do in a day.  The key of a good oil painting is to get as many layers in as possible, but oil paints (unlike acrylics) can take days to try. My teacher came for about 5 sessions for two hours each, but end to end the process took over a month, which was a BIG test of my patience. The final result is what makes it completely worth it.