Wet on Wet technique - Artist Forum
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post #1 of Old 10-28-2015, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Wet on Wet technique

Any of you oil paintings use wet on wet technique as taught by Bob Ross and Wilson Bickford and others?

Well this is my opinion of the wet on wet technique

I think there are only two reasons to use the wet on wet technique. 1. is to get good blending as in a sky sunset. 2. is to rush the painting as a teacher would have to do in a short PBS tutorial.

Other than that it's taking a chance on making a muddy mess. If you let the first layer dry before adding the second layer then there is no worry about turn the second layer into a discolored blob.

Anyone else have an opinion on this?



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post #2 of Old 12-04-2015, 06:33 AM
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I have to disagree with you here, Terry. The whole point of wet-on-wet is that you can move paint on the canvas and blend different colours. I see many paintings with a moon that has fringes of light surrounding it. In reality you will never see that; the transition from light to dark is gradual. This is easy to attain with wet-on-wet. And though I never tried allowing previous layers of colour to dry as I think you do, I would think it takes an awful lot of time, patience and skill to blend colours in that way.
A more off the wall way of explaining what I mean is that nature is very much an analogue phenomenon. There are very few, if any, instant transitions from one colour to the next or from light to dark. Look at any flower and you'll see that.
Even further off the wall; the digital world in communications and electronics is actually an analogue one. It just moves so fast we can't see the transitions from 1s to 0s and back.
Sorry, got carried away by my electronics background there.
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post #3 of Old 12-04-2015, 08:24 AM
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Sloppy can be good, T, but most prefer the comfort of controlled neatness. I play it all, one time or another.
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post #4 of Old 12-04-2015, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwriter View Post
I have to disagree with you here, Terry. The whole point of wet-on-wet is that you can move paint on the canvas and blend different colours. I see many paintings with a moon that has fringes of light surrounding it. In reality you will never see that; the transition from light to dark is gradual. This is easy to attain with wet-on-wet. And though I never tried allowing previous layers of colour to dry as I think you do, I would think it takes an awful lot of time, patience and skill to blend colours in that way.
A more off the wall way of explaining what I mean is that nature is very much an analogue phenomenon. There are very few, if any, instant transitions from one colour to the next or from light to dark. Look at any flower and you'll see that.
Even further off the wall; the digital world in communications and electronics is actually an analogue one. It just moves so fast we can't see the transitions from 1s to 0s and back.
Sorry, got carried away by my electronics background there.
Well like I said, wet on wet is great for blending, however if you don't want to blend something it's risky. When I am putting a house on the canvas I don't want it to blend into the sky or field. Waiting for it to dry and then painting the house works better for me.



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post #5 of Old 12-04-2015, 11:20 PM
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The wet-in-wet method works for some applications. Even those of us who layer, and glaze sometimes use the wet-in-wet method for certain situations.

The Bob Ross method is, indeed, a wet-in-wet approach, and his specific method is largely based upon using the prescribed paints, brushes, and mediums. His is a "formula" type of painting method, which, when his prescribed brushes, paints, and method of applying the paint are followed closely, creates the desired effects.

When painting wet-in-wet, the problem arises when the existing wet paint that has already been applied, begins to mix with the fresh paint you are applying. This generally leads to unwanted color mixtures occurring, as the underlying paint color mixes with the freshly-applied paint, causing what is often known as "mud".

Bob Ross compensates for this unwanted mixture by performing at least two operations during his painting procedure--he applies his paint so very thick that the underlying paint couldn't possibly get through to contaminate the fresh paint. He does this when he "skip-trowels" his mountains with very thickly applied paint.

The other operation is to mix up a color of such high chroma that by the time the underlying color gets mixed with it, the resulting, dirtier color will be very close to that which you desire.

When I first began painting, I tried the Bob Ross method. A knowledgeable clerk at Michaels' Art Store told me that while many painters begin with the Bob Ross method, most of them become inspired to improve their method, and discard the Bob Ross method after about 6 to 8 paintings. She was right--after about 6 paintings I began to realize that once learned, the method held me captive with its methods, and materials. It was never going to get any "better than this", once I learned the technique.

I have now abandoned the Bob Ross painting methods, but I still retain many of the physical skills, and operations that I learned by using his method. For example, his method has been great for developing the proper operations for creating a sky.
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post #6 of Old 12-05-2015, 05:23 PM
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Yes, I'm familiar with the technique. Having studied the "Old Masters" techniques and materials many years ago with an artist's group in Southern California I can say that the technique originates from that era in Europe. They cooked up linseed oil with a particular percentage of white lead to make a soft transparent paste that worked excellent for blending into the next area to develop. What this medium gel was also about is that you could take a soft lint-free cloth and "erase" the day's work if you didn't like how things were looking. This medium is also geared towards the use of fanning brushes to create your brushstroke-free areas like backgrounding especially in your paintings. I have cooked up batches of this stuff, myself. Rabbit skin glue on stretched linen is a whole 'nother ball of wax.
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post #7 of Old 12-27-2015, 05:49 AM
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Sorry if this sounds like a rather stupid question, I've recently been looking at starting oil painting I've no artistic skills at all but that can be worked on.

I've watched a lot of oil painter son youtube using the wet on wet technique and I think its great how they can create paintings so fast using this method.

Question is surely couldn't you just use the wet on wet technique to start with for your skys/waters/tree lines etc and once its dried then add your nice neat lined/non blended buildings/structures?

Thanks.
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post #8 of Old 12-27-2015, 06:53 AM
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To some degree but one facet to consider: texture. You see, by using wet-to-wet you're adding more & more paint & pushing it around. This usually ends up with textural paint. Now, try doing thin detail over texture... Not so easy. If I want to offset such I'll often either mask the focals or make sure my paints are smooth as I get near them.
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post #9 of Old 12-27-2015, 07:52 AM
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Makes sense we have a few oil paintings on the wall things bought from random places nothing special, and when I look at these you can clearly see ridges of paint where its all been layered.

Thanks.
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post #10 of Old 12-27-2015, 10:34 AM
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I think if you have the time other methods are better.
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