Encouraged by Jana and Robyn, I took up the oil brush again. Not to do paintings, but oil sketches. Went to my cute little art store, solved the world’s problems along with the owner, got a lovely compliment from a french guy buying paper and walked out with more brushes and some oil paper in blocks, which I’ve never used before. They worked out perfectly for the oil sketches! Another alternative would be to prime drawing paper with acrylic paint as an undercoat. I prefer the blocked canvas paper which is sturdy. I really enjoyed getting back to oils… missed the smell and sensuality and drama of oil paint. Now that my tubes have been opened again, I hope to do much more oil work again, sketching as well as painting. I used clementines as subject for both watercolour and oil sketches.

The watercolour was done in molekine, using a .25 rotring(which I love for the brilliance of the ink and its fine point), watercolours and a petit gris brush, no 0.


For this oil sketch, I started by laying a thin wash(oil and turpentine) roughly over an area, let it dry and directly sketched the clementines with brush and oil and a drop of Venetian turpentine as medium.


I had some oil paint left on my palette and attempted a second clementine sketch, changed the composition and lay a contrasting colour background which is once again a thinned wash, using plenty of turpentine with a big brush.


18 thoughts on “Clementines

  1. I have never worked in oil but perhaps that will happen at some point as well…..you intrigue me with the comment about sensuality….I can visualize myself having an affair with the oils at some future time.

    I of course love the wc sketch because I JUST LOVE WC! Both oils are really nice as well, but do prefer the one with the complimentary background…those clementines just pop! What are clementines?

  2. FABULOUS!!!!! My favorite is the top, I think — with that glorious ink …. oh you are one talented lady!!! Brilliant work, cara!

  3. I’m so excited to see your oil sketches alongside the watercolor. I’ve been thinking about how to transfer my way of working with watercolor over to oils and seeing how youv’e done just that is really helpful. I’m avoiding turps though, since my studio is in my house and the fumes aren’t so good to have in the house. An oil painting block sounds like a fabulous invention! I have some tablets of primed canvas but they’re kind of floppy. A block would be perfect, though I haven’t seen them here yet.

  4. I love particularly your experiences, the way you go and try, try and solve things. I am an watercolour addict but I love the softness of oil and I think it is one of the best mediums.

  5. Brava, Ronell, all three are beautiful. The blue background really does cause great excitement though, doesn’t it? Quite beautiful. Now you are going to inspire me back 😉 My darn muse has totally deserted me 😦

    None of the Italians I paint with use turps in the early layers of their paintings. They tell me just to use paint by itself, but I do notice they seem to have quite a lot of oil in the backgrounds they lay down. Language is a big barrier when I want to debate this. All the books I have suggest painting thin (with turps) first and finishing with fat (added oil). Very confusing.

  6. Ronell, another wonderful group of sketches!! What I love most about your sketches is how free and loose they are. I can imagine you having so much fun painting these. You inspire me to find that feeling with my sketching.

  7. These are each beautiful in their own way, Ronell. Like Marta, I’m always a bit partial to watercolor, but the oils are wonderful and spontaneous. I’m glad you’re getting back to oils – I know that’s what you’ve been wanting to do.

  8. Very yummy!! I love both mediums, all of these! I especially love the blue and orange one—my favorite juxtaposition. Have such fun with your oil explorations!!

  9. Beautiful! Your style translates very nicely to oils. I’m looking forward to seeing more of these.

    And congratulations on your upcoming exhibit.

  10. Love the oils, especially the second one. I love how loose and free you are with the paint. The splashy blue background is wonderful.

Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

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