Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Roslyn Oakes I Colour In Your Life


G’day viewers, my name’s Graeme Stevenson, and I’d like to invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure through the series Colour In Your Life. There’s an artist in every family throughout the world. Lots of times there’s an artist deep inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, uncles and mums and dads and come and see how some of the best artists do what they do. (Music Plays) (Graeme) Well, hi folks. Well for this episode we are actually in my home town of Murwullimbah, in Northern New South Wales, in Australia – fantastic place. And we’re going to be filming a lady that I’ve known for quite some time now. We actually did a little bit of painting with each other quite a while back didn’t we? But I would like to present you to Mrs Roslyn Oaks. Great to be here, Honey. (Roslyn) Hi. (Graeme) Yeah, Roz is a fantastic artist, she’s actually gone on since you and I have had a relationship to become a professional practicing artist, and sells her work quite well. You actually just sold some paintings recently haven’t you? (Roslyn) Yep. (Graeme) That’s pretty cool. And she does a variety of things, she does wildlife, she does landscapes, birds, but I mean we’ll show that as we go through the day, but a lot of really, really interesting stuff. But this is also in conjunction with a really special Arts festival that we have coming up, and that’s the the reason that Roslyn, and another lady who’s coming on the show as well, a lady called Sandra Guy, and it’s to celebrate the Arts within the Murwillumbah area. And we have a thing every year now in May called the Murwillumbah Arts Trail, and we’re really just celebrating the local talents and the local Arts, the preforming Arts. And the whole of Murwillumbah, for about ten days literally becomes an Art festival in any sense. We have some great galleries, there’s some fantastic places where people are setting up to really take advantage of the Arts in this community. Most people don’t know that this Cauldron that we live in, which is the second largest extinct volcanic cauldron in the world, has also the largest amount of artists per capita, in the Southern Hemisphere in the world. So not only is this an amazingly beautiful place, but you’ve got… (Roslyn) It’s inspirational. (Graeme) It’s fantastic, I mean there’s there’s parrots, and birds, platypus. I mean it really is one of the most prettiest places in the world, and that’s part of the reasons you and I live here. But we’re going to go through some of you’re work today. You’re going to be doing a barn scene for us, or a country scene. (Roslyn) Yep. (Graeme) But as I said Roz paints a lot of different subject matter from wildlife from turtles, to bird and frogs. You love fogs; what’s the story about the frogs? (Roslyn) A friend of mine, John Pumpurs is a photographer, and he photographs – he’s very good at photographing frogs. And so he let me have a lot of subject matter from his work, and yeah, so I just got into painting the frogs. But I love any animals: (Graeme) Yeah. (Roslyn) frogs, snakes, lizards, birds, (Graeme) Yeah. (Roslyn) the natural environment. (Graeme) And in the area that we live in, it’s sort of pretty obvious that’s what you’re going to go to. (Roslyn) Yeah. (Graeme) But you’re a multi award winning artist as well. You’ve done really, really well since you’ve actually taken on as a practising artist. (Roslyn) Thank you. (Graeme) You’ve been in a whole bunch of different publications, and obviously galleries are wanting your work all the time, but and a lovely lady too. I’ve known Roz for quite some time now. (Roslyn) Thank you. (Graeme) But what I’m going to do, I’m going to step out of shot, cause part of the reason we’re here is to obviously see you do what you do. And we’ll just follow you through today, and you’ll get to see some of Roz’s work which is really quite spectacular. So I’ll get out of shot and we’ll let you start, okay? (Roslyn) Thank you. (Graeme) Okay. (Roslyn) So when you first start painting, just go out and take heaps of reference photos. Heaps and heaps of photos like landscapes, animals, whatever you’re interested in. Don’t worry if they’re not great, you might get one or two out of the hundred or two hundred if you’re lucky like me. And then just go and print off a black and white photo from your best shot, which is something that will look like that, and that will show you your lights and darks, where they are, make it much easier for yourself. Okay, then if you can also print off a very good photo like ten by twelve, eight by twelve, ten, or something, that’s very good high definition, and you can see where everything is. That will make it easy too. Okay, and then I always do little painted sketches like this which work really well. I you can draw little sketches, but the painted one really helps with the colours and things like that. I find it invaluable. (Graeme) What about the board that you’re putting it on now? You actually got I think it’s masonite or something? (Roslyn) This is MDF, you can use bits of ply or anything just for your painted sketches. (Graeme) Aha. (Roslyn) Anything, canvas, anything, (Graeme) And your, and your, (Roslyn) doesn’t matter, anything you can paint on. (Graeme) your partner Carl actually makes these for you. (Roslyn) These ones, yeah. (Graeme) Yeah, okay. (Roslyn) He actually cuts these one up as well for me. He’s a good man, but luckily he does these for me as well, which are MDF, which are fine as long as you seal it really well with a sealer. And you can just get that from any paint shop. (Graeme) Okay, fantastic. (Roslyn) Yeah, okay. So we’re going to mix up the paint for the sky. I’m going to start of with Paynes Grey, cause we want a stormy sky. Ultramarine Blue. (Graeme) Are you using is it Art Spectrum oils? (Roslyn) Art Spectrum and Winsor and Newton (Graeme) Okay. are both really good. (Graeme) But you paint with pastels, and watercolours and acrylics and the whole lot don’t you? (Roslyn) Yeah, I love, I like to choose a medium that suits the subject. Like a landscape, or a leaf, or an animal, and I’ll just think wow, that would be great, that would work well in acrylics, or that would work well in oil, or pastel would be just work really well, and be fantastic for the texture, so that’s what medium I’ll use. Okay, this is Spectrum Blue and then white. Okay, I’ll just mix up a nice stormy looking sky. (Graeme) So you’re also living in this wonderful area, there’s a gentleman called Andy Remanis, who we both know well. I think it was Andy and I that actually taught you some of the things that you’ve learned over the years. (Roslyn) Yeah. (Graeme) And you’ve also been involved with a great local project because of this magnificent area, and it was called the Green Cauldron Panorama, which Andy Remanis put together with a lot of the stuff that he’s been doing with the Arts in the area. And it literally is a panorama that you guys, there was number of you that actually painted it over quite a period of time cause it’s really, really detailed, and it takes into all of the different facets and the mountain ranges and everything that’s involved within the Caldera. And just a magnificent piece, and that’s actually on displayed in Murwillumbah as well, if people wanted to come along and look at it. But it’s sort of from the top of Mount Warning, which is the first place in Australia funnily enough to get sunshine in the morning. And that whole area looking down it sort of like Gorillas in the Mist isn’t it? (Roslyn) It’s beautiful, it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful images. Beautiful work, (Graeme) Yeah. (Roslyn) yeah, and if you don’t want to walk up to the top of Mount Warning, you can go and see the panorama. (Graeme) Yeah. (Roslyn) And just standing in the middle, and it’s a three hundred and sixty degree view – (Graeme) The whole thing. (Roslyn) it’s just awesome. (Graeme) Yeah, it’s pretty amazing what you guys did with that. (Roslyn) Okay, so now the colours are mixed up for the sky. Because the sky is a reasonably large area, I’ll just use a big brush and wack it on pretty quickly, and then blend the colours later. (Graeme) It’s a nice colour that isn’t it? (Roslyn) Yeah. (Graeme) Lovely. So I’m also of the understanding through your very generous time that you, you teach at some nursing homes occasionally to help the elderly to get in touch with their artistic (Roslyn) Yeah, once a (Graeme) side. (Roslyn) fortnight I teach at the nursing home. (Graeme) I think that’s great that you can do that for the elderly folks, and give them an opportunity to be creative. I think is great. (Roslyn) Oh they love it. It’s changed their lives they’ve said to me. And they said that they would like to do it every day if they could. They just love it so much, yeah. And they’re really talented, like some have never painted before in their lives. And they’ve just picked up a brush and gone for it. And because they love it so much, which is you know, if you want to paint and you like it, you’re ninety percent of the way there, because the passion is really what you need, and then just put the work in after. (Graeme) But it’s just fantastic, I mean sometimes they can be in a nursing home for quite some time. I think the worst thing that can happen to you is boredom as you get older. (Roslyn) Yep, yep, it is. And we put out a calendar every year, and we make so much money selling that calendar (Graeme) That’s great. (Roslyn) cause their work is brilliant. (Graeme) So is their any specific spot, I mean every where you go in this valley, this caldera is just beautiful scenery. But is there any particular spot that you really like going to in the area? (Roslyn) It’s all beautiful and you don’t have to go too far to look for reference material. Sometimes you can find just the best reference material in your back yard. So it’s not like you have to go too far. You can find sometimes the best images just down the road, or in your back yard. (Graeme) It’s amazing. (Roslyn) Yeah. (Graeme) So one of the great things about this area is obviously the wildlife, but there’s a gentleman called John Pumpurs, that you get a number of frog photos from. (Roslyn) Yeah. (Graeme) And there are some fantastic frogs in this area cause it’s so wet it’s like rainforest. And I was just wanting to bring a couple of those up. You’ve got the Red Eyed Tree Fog, which really does have extremely red eyes. And then a frog that we have in the area is the Green Tree Frog, which is quite a large frog. Those guys are always out near your back doorstep some of the time just sort of crocking away. (Roslyn) Yeah. (Graeme) Some of the things that I love about what you do as well is the bird pieces that you create. And just before, they’ve gone away at the moment, but we have the Australian Laughing Kookaburra, that was just outside your back door. (Roslyn) Yeah, they were very loud. (Graeme) Yeah, and you’ve got one piece called Kookaburra’s from Cavanbah, which is… (Roslyn) Kookaburra Cavanbah – it means meeting place. (Graeme) Oh, okay. (Roslyn) Cavanbah is an Aboriginal word for meeting place, (Graeme) Okay. (Roslyn) and the Kookaburra’s were on the fence and having a talk, so that’s why I called it Kookaburra Cavanbah. (Graeme) And they’ve been doing the same thing in your back ground this morning. (Roslyn) They have. (Graeme) But it’s a lovely piece, it really is. Now, okay, you actually picked up another brush which is a fan brush, (Roslyn) Yeah. (Graeme) and what are you using the fan brush for? (Roslyn) I’m just using the fan brush to soften off the edges of the clouds, and make them look soften and blending that into the other paint, the blue paint that was already there to soften off the edges, and give them a more cloudy, soft, atmospheric look, and feel. (Graeme) Yeah, you do have another piece as well, I’ll just bring up at the moment that is a great example of actually really softening that off and out-of-focus effect, that’s the Python portrait, and it’s this great photo, or painting of this python’s head, just coming out through the darkness. And it’s a similar, similar technique that you’ve used in creating that background as well. (Roslyn) Yeah, I wanted to try and make it look like his head was almost ready to turn. So I blurred the background a little bit, and put all the emphasis on the head. While you’re painting the roof, just make sure you go in the direction that your eye will go. Same with fur, water, anything you’re painting make sure you go in the direction that your paintings going, like your fur, or your water, or your iron, your timber. Brushstrokes in the same direction works best. I’m just going to put a little bit of Burnt Umber on the side here, and under there so it will show through on the next layer, and be nice and dark. (Graeme) You’re just really starting to build your picture forward. (Roslyn) Yeah, start from the back, I always start from the back and build forward. Yeah. (Graeme) Well speaking of darker colours, you’ve got two pieces that I’d like to show now which I think are just really beautiful paintings. One is of a Barn Owl flying through a dark background, it just stands out just spectacularly well. And the other one is of an egret, and its called Out of the Mist. And you often see birds flying around, we’ve got lakes and creeks and streams in this area. In the evenings you can see them just flying across this really still water; it’s a spectacular sight. (Roslyn) Okay, so I’m moving onto the boards now, and cause I have the darks on my palette already, I’ll use similar colours for the board, the old weathered boards. Bluey-greys making it look like timber. (Graeme) You actually got a piece called Fallen Warriors, which are – you look at the thing, the colours are similar to what you’re doing here. It’s really, really detailed, (Roslyn) We have weathered timber, (Graeme) Yeah. (Roslyn) that’s the thing. (Graeme) But the picture in there is if you look at that, you don’t really notice it, but it’s the its the lizard (Roslyn) Lizard. (Graeme) that’s there. (Roslyn) Yeah, the Bearded Dragon. (Graeme) The Bearded Dragon. You know you can bring up paintings like Antarctica Beech Trees, which has just got so much great detail in it, and the stag horns in the whole thing as well. A lot of detail in a lot of what you do, and there’s different angles in the work you do as well. (Roslyn) I just try and draw attention to the natural environment through my work. And it could be just the section of a tree, or a stag horn, or a elkhorns, and I just want to bring that to peoples attention, so that they realise that you know, the natural beauty that’s around us, and it’s just beautiful to paint. So because the timber is different colours, we just need to get some light patches, and some dark patches, and some variation in the timer. And then you can always go back later on and seperate your… put in a couple of darks to seperate – make it look more like slabs of timber. Okay, I’m just going to mix up some colours for the roof, some nice rusty reds and orangey colours, and I’ve got Burnt Umber, Alizarine Crimson and Cadmium Yellow. So we just want some nice reds-browns, some thing that looks like old rust on a shed. For that I’ll use a courser brush, like the rattier the better. So with this one because it’s not a good brush, and its uneven, when it makes the marks they’re separated like the rust on the roof. (Graeme) You can see it looks like old rusted galvanised iron. (Roslyn) Yeah, I love these old sheds and silos – they’re just beautiful. (Graeme) There’s another piece that you’ve got which is of the area that we live in. It’s a real panoramic piece of the Tweed River, and the little houses and little villages. (Roslyn) Oh, yeah, View from a Hill. (Graeme) It’s called View from a Hill. (Roslyn) Yeah, that was a commissioned piece (Graeme) Yeah. (Roslyn) that someone asked me to do for them, was the view from their back yard actually. (Graeme) Okay, great view. (Roslyn) Yes, yeah, they’ve got a beautiful view. (Graeme) And really it’s just, it’s a real dry brush technique. (Roslyn) Yeah, no medium, (Graeme) Yeah, no. (Roslyn) just paint. (Graeme) Just scratch it along. (Roslyn) Yeah, just scratch it along. Okay, I’m just going to move onto one of these Dagger Brushes, because they’re just good for the little angles and I can use it for the wider strokes, or I can turn it that way and use it for a skinny stoke or a little narrow stroke if I want to, and very handy. And they’re good for when I’m doing the poles, I can scrape it around this way, and give the impression of the pole being round, and a bit of shape, you know. A very versatile little brush to have. (Graeme) Yes, they’re very good those ones. (Roslyn) Oh, man, invaluable – I love them. (Graeme) You can just get into those real tight spaces sometimes. (Roslyn) Yeah, you can just use a little fine point at the end, or you can use the tip, like the flat part on the edge for doing a long skinny line, you know. So I’m just pulling it this way now to give the illusion of the pole being round. Okay, I’m just going to start doing some work on the silo now. I’m going to put the shadow in at the side, and it’s s bit dark, but I can mix it with some other colours, and drag it across because I have to give it that feeling of being round as well. (Roslyn) Okay, I’m just going to do some work on, I’ve mixed up some colours and I’m going to do some work on the grass now. Right, so I’ll just start working in some colours along here. (Graeme) That looks pretty dynamic. (Roslyn) I’m going to use a lot of yellows in the painting, because they’re a contrast to the blue, so it will give it a bit more ompf. (Graeme) So the Murwullimabh Arts Trail, from May the eighteenth to the twenty-seventh every year. But you’ve been involved in it a couple of times now haven’t you Roz? (Roslyn) It’s a good thing to be a part of. (Graeme) Yeah. (Roslyn) There’s lots of different artists, and lots of different work, and a lot of people come to have a look at your work. (Graeme) Well they’ve got a whole bunch of things that they do. Lighting up the buildings and a huge amount of interest, people coming from everywhere. (Roslyn) Yep. (Graeme) And a fantastic time with all sorts of street performers, artists, sculptors, just a fantastic place to be. The whole town basically turns into a gallery. So if anybody wants to get some more information on the Murwillumbah Arts Trail, you can go to the website which is the Murwillumbah Arts Trail dot com. And if you want to see some of Roz’s work on her website, it’s Roslyn Oakes dot wixs dot com slash forward Roz Arty. (Roslyn) That’s it. (Graeme) And Roz has her work for sale in the website, she does sell quite a lot of work because it’s just such fantastic, fantastic work anyway. But yeah, if you’d like to talk to her about stuff, and even commissions, Roz does take a lot of commissions. She does do, (Roslyn) Yes, I love commission work. (Graeme) she does do animal portraits on occasions, and can paint just about anything you need. And also in conjunction with the Murwillumbah Arts Trail and supporting Roz Oakes and also Sandra Guy, who are the two ladies that we’re filming for the festival, we wanted to put out a really big thank you to Destination New South Wales Regional Flagship Funding. That department has stepped forward and been extremely generous in supporting our local festival, and in supporting the ladies, and part and parcel of being part of Colour In Your Life. So it’s just a great word that we want to spread around the world, so that everybody out there that loves art, knows where this great little town is in Northern New South Wales. And we hope to see you guys here every May from the eighteenth to the twenty-seventh. Okay, Roz, well I can see you’ve put the fence in there as well. Sort of moved along pretty rapidly. So is there anything else you need to do to finish off? (Roslyn) I’m just going to put some highlights on the fence where the lights hitting along top of the fence. There’s always a little bit of light along the top of these old fences, when the light shines on you always have to put a little bit of a highlight. (Graeme) Aha, sort of often referred to in the industry, particularly with landscapes and streetscapes as putting the bling (Roslyn) Yeah, the bling. (Graeme) on the final piece. (Roslyn) Yeah, I’ve heard that before. (Graeme) Just those little touches that just bring everything out. (Roslyn) A little bit of bling; a little bit of light. (Graeme) Yeah. (Roslyn) A little more light on these ones down here, just a touch. Okay, I think it’s done. (Graeme) Wonderful. (Graeme) Okay, from the beautiful Murwillumbah Cauldron in Tweed Valley. Roslyn, thank you so much for being on the show. (Roslyn) Thanks for coming. (Graeme) That was fantastic. (Roslyn) Thank you. (Graeme) Roslyn’s come a great deal of a way in her career. That’s been fantastic what you’ve been doing. Also, we’d like to thank Destination Tweed for helping us out, and being part and parcel of the Murwillumbah Arts Trail. And of course the Murwullimbah Arts Trail and Natascha Wernick, who is one of our managers these days. Natascha has put this together, she’s a pretty incredible lady as well. And also, let me say this again for you, if you’d like to go and see some more of Roz’s work, you can go to Roslyn Oakes dot wix dot com slash forward Roz Arty. (Roslyn) Roz Arty. (Roslyn) Roz Arty. (Graeme) It’s a complex one, but you can see it on the bottom of the screen anyway. But we’ve had a great time. Don’t forget to come and see us at Facebook. Our YouTube channel really expanding quiet rapidly these days. And we’re on social networks all over the world. Lots and lots of TV stations coming on board these days. But thanks once again guys. If you can, try and get to the Murwillumbah Arts Festival in May. You’ll have a lot of fun, and meet some amazing people, and come to an amazing area as well. But until we see you again, remember guys… (Roslyn) Make sure you put some colour in your life. (Graeme) Thats right. We’ll see you next time. (Roslyn) See you. (Graeme) Bye now.

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