Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On to the Next Step

The next step
*Note: For some reason this entire post, including my photograph, was deleted! It wasn't me either!

And it was such a good post, too.

I was discussing how I've been fairing with the Blast Off class over, motivation high, resistance low and churning out this latest still life watercolor painting. This one is on larger paper than I was using and is going to take a little more time to finish.

Now I remember, since seeing the comments, that I was thinking about painting in oils again, but not so sure I want to inhale the fumes that turpentine, varnishes, linseed oils emit without going to all the trouble of trying to ventilate a basement studio properly.

Anyway, that's all I remember. Use your imagination.


  1. I love what you are doing Dora! Great stuff!

    About the oils. I use oils and don't use any of those solvents as I can't tolerate them. For a medium, I use walnut oil (no smell at all). If I need it to dry faster, I use the walnut oil with alkyd, but don't use it as often. To wash my brushes I use Murphy's Oil Soap, which is 98% organic stuff, no nasty solvents etc. If you can't find Murphy's, squish out your brushes in vegetable oil first, then use regular dish soap to wash that out. So no need for turps, linseed oil (which should be totally avoided as it is toxic and carcinogenic), damar (which yellows). For a really good varnish, try Gamblin Gamvar. Low voc, very little odour, and very easy to work with, better than others I tried. Check out their web site It has lots of info and how-tos. The newer oils, like Gamblin and Daniel Smith have much less smell too I find. And then there are the watersoluble ones, which I haven't tried. So hope you get to work with them too!


    1. Lorraine, you have made my day with your info! I am definitely going to try walnut oil! Wow! I never thought to use Murphy's Oil soap for the brushes. We used to use Ivory soap, which maybe wasn't great either. I have to look at my oil paints now, who knows if they're still good or dried up. Thank you thank you!

  2. Hi, Dora,
    What gorgeous colours and look soooo yammy!! I want to give it a big bite!! You have vivid contrast and lively colours.
    Oil! lovely odors. I once challenged it and eventually came back to watercolour. I could not get used to "opaque" oil paints. Hope you'll enjoy it.

    1. Hi Sadami and thank you! For me to be using watercolors is a miracle because oils was my medium for a long time. But if I can make the watercolors do what oils can I win!


The Latest Work With Permission

©Dora Sislian Themelis, 11x14 Watercolor, Patmos Sunset Available for purchase The latest work is from another person's photograph...