Wet on Wet technique [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Wet on Wet technique


TerryCurley
10-28-2015, 02:51 PM
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:pillepalle:

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?

bwriter
12-04-2015, 07:33 AM
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.

Sorin
12-04-2015, 09:24 AM
Sloppy can be good, T, but most prefer the comfort of controlled neatness. I play it all, one time or another.

TerryCurley
12-04-2015, 09:37 AM
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.

WFMartin
12-05-2015, 12:20 AM
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.

OrangeAnalytic
12-05-2015, 06:23 PM
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.

Insy
12-27-2015, 06:49 AM
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.

Sorin
12-27-2015, 07:53 AM
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.

Insy
12-27-2015, 08:52 AM
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.

Butterfly88
12-27-2015, 11:34 AM
I think if you have the time other methods are better.

Asancta
12-27-2015, 03:13 PM
If I rememeber well my art classes alla prima(wet on wet) was mainly used by the impressionists and the result was that the paintings looked very colorful.However you should be careful not to mix more than 2 colors on the canvas or else a big mess will be the result.I prefer other methods though...like glazing 4 ex lol

TerryCurley
12-27-2015, 03:45 PM
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.

Yup and that's exactly what I do. But Sorin definitely has a point about the texture. I will keep the area clear where I'm painting the subject if at all possible and just do a thin underpainting on the subject piece.

Insy
12-27-2015, 04:30 PM
The only 2 techniques that come to my head is wet on wet and palette knife, much to learn :D.

Sorin
12-28-2015, 06:28 AM
A, its all in the stroke! Simple strokes can carry more colors Also, how you stroke it... Not getting naughty here but if you start at the tip & twist as you apply the paints come off in parts, less at one time. Such gives transitions.

mountainbiker
01-18-2016, 12:58 AM
I am very new. I have just completed my first painting...ever. I used the Bob Ross method and followed along with a youtube video. It was great.

I am always searching for ways to deal with stress. For some reason the universe guided me back to Bob, his voice, and his technique. After watching episodes almost every evening (for months) before bed (to relax), my girlfriend got me some Bob Ross supplies.

Like I said, I recently completed my first painting ("alla prima" to quote Asancta) and I am happy with the result and I hope to make time to paint some more. After reading WFMartin's note about losing interest in about 6 paintings, I am a bit fearful. However, I trust he and others who lost interest are way more seasoned artists than myself. :) (I fix washers and dryers for a living.)

So, Terry, Bob's technique works for me. Even after one painting, I can see what you mean about mud though. One has to be careful and pay attention.

I just joined the forum this evening guys. I hope to share some more and learn from you.

Thanks.

Matt

TerryCurley
01-18-2016, 11:42 AM
I do Bob Ross's videos occasionally and follow his technique to a point. I will do the wet on wet for the sky and mountains and first layer of trees, but then when it comes to the foreground work I let the painting dry before I tackle it. For one reason the first time you have to make a major correction on a piece that has three different wet layers under it you will understand my objection. If the paint is dry all you have to do is take a pallet knife and remove the wet part and then redo it. I have not figured out how to do that sort of thing when doing wet on wet. Happy accidents are one thing but major accidents which do happen are a nightmare if the layers below are not dry.

MarioG
01-29-2016, 03:43 AM
Any of you oil paintings use wet on wet technique as

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?

Hi Terry
I'm new here and read your posts with great interest and like your work very much. Wet on Wet is the only way I paint and as a new painter and would be artist I find it's a great way to paint.
I'm trying to emulate the style (with very little success) as shown/taught by Gary and Kathwren Jenkins, have you seen his work (YouTube).
They are primarily floral artists and their works make me drool with envy. The florals they produce are something to be seen.
I live in Oz and can't find a teacher in this style here, my loss.
After seeing their works you might add a third reason to your two.
See what you think.
M.

TerryCurley
01-30-2016, 11:53 AM
Oh you bet I've seen Kathryn and Gary Jenkins work. I've done several of their tutorials. Personally I think Kathryn is the better teacher, I find Gary too flamboyant for my taste. One thing to remember is that they are producing those videos in a half hour. I think if they had all the time they needed they would at points let the painting dry and then continue. In fact I've heard Gary say that on one or two of his tapes. It's only when you want to blend that you really need the wet on wet.

Jason
03-06-2016, 08:12 PM
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.
Well look who I found Mr Martin we used to talk on wetcanvas when the chat was functional. I remember your paintings well they were a true insperation. I go by hazegry over there.

mikie1856
03-06-2016, 10:21 PM
Terry, I have been oil painting before Bob Ross started on PBS, so when I tried it I can see the mess coming so I counter it with wiping it down with a paper towel, because their was to much liquid on the canvas, no matter how hard i tried to put a thin layer on with the brush, now I never went out and spent money on Bob's lines of product, I made them my self, their are other people that would paint the building in black Gesso and paint the landscape in and scrape out the area painted in black Gesso so they could keep painting, I know waiting stinks , just like when buying paint one should stay with one manufacture of paint because shading will vary from one company to another, one would only need to buy, Red, Yellow, Blue for the primary colors secondary color Green, Violet, Orange then you would need 5 earth tones then 6 transparent colors and you could end up with 1176 colors, wet on wet is good even Rembrandt used wet on wet and a lot use Glazing and Scumbling, we all pickup techniques and we all end up with our own style.

TerryCurley
03-07-2016, 08:45 AM
I think we are all in agreement. There are techniques and times when wet on wet is appropriate but others when it is not and better to let the bottom coat dry before moving on.