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Choosing my first figure to paint in oils

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by skeeterbuck, Aug 9, 2022.

  1. skeeterbuck Active Member

    I'm thinking of trying to start using oils to paint my figures. Most of my GA is 54mm, but I thinking for my first try at oil painting it would be better going bigger.

    Looking for recommendations for a good size... 75mm, 90mm maybe even a bust.

    Thanks, Chuck

    P.S. Not totally giving up acrylics. Will use them for underpainting for the oils.
  2. Warren SMITH A Fixture

    Hi Chuck,
    Just find a piece you like from a period you collect and go for it... (y)
    theBaron and Mirofsoft like this.
  3. Nap Moderator


    I agree there just use what you have no point spending more till your getting used to Oils

    Perhaps look for a old verlinden bust on eBay

    Happy benchtime

  4. NigelR A Fixture

    My logic is that bigger = harder. Blends and details (and thus mistakes...) more obvious. I would stick with what you know and also use up something from the GA. Make sure it is a good quality figure so you make your painting job as easy as possible and also choose the uniform/clothing so it's not too difficult. So for example, stay away from a figure clothed all in white.....

    I am at the same point. Been working with acrylics but veering back to oils (over acrylics). Still can't decide which way to go, so will be doing some practice figures.
    Chrisr, winfield and Nap like this.
  5. Forté A Fixture

    I'm assuming you have a stash/backlog.

    Pick something... paint it. If you go with something metal it's easier/safer to strip if you really hate your painting on it too.
  6. skeeterbuck Active Member

    Thanks for all the comments so far. My thinking was that on a somewhat larger figure the blending areas would be "more forgiving" as opposed to a smaller figure where the the blending areas are much smaller.
  7. Warren SMITH A Fixture

    Jump in at 1/16 and see what happens.. there are a decent range of plastic figures in this scale that you cud have some fun with...
  8. winfield Active Member

    I compare figure sizes to canvas. The larger the canvas, the more obvious mistakes are. What does not even show up on a 54 can be glaring on a larger scale. Just sayin'.
    NigelR and Chrisr like this.
  9. Gary D PlanetFigure Supporter

    I think the quality of the sculpt is half the battle. Get a really good sculpt and it'll make your life a lot easier. painting 3 dimensions on a completely round sphere is hard. Also, if you are working with resin or white metal, remember you can always keep stripping it if you don't like it and paint it again and again. A good rule of thumb is paint the fig like you are dressing him. Skin first, layers of clothes working from the undergarments out. I like painting with oils over acrylics. I base coat in acrylics, varnish after, then apply oils. it makes it easy to remove the oils and start again over the dry acrylic base coat.
    Mirofsoft and theBaron like this.
  10. skeeterbuck Active Member

    I agree that a good sculpt does make for a more enjoyable painting experience. I plan to do oils over an acrylic undercoating.

    Why do you varnish the acrylic paint before starting the oils?

    Thanks for all the replies,
  11. Gary D PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hi Chuck. I varnish over the acrylics first as oils will stain the acrylic and that may not be the effect I want. Some painters want that and some don't. I find if I make a mistake or don't like the oil paint job I'm doing, I can use a mild thinner to remove the oils and not worry about removing the acrylic basecoat. it takes me back to square 1. I find it especially is good for painting eyes as I'm constantly having to remove oil paint to fix my mistakes Lol!
    skeeterbuck and theBaron like this.
  12. theBaron A Fixture

    I had the same idea at one time, Chuck, that I'd use both acrylics and oils, especially oils for faces. But the more I used acrylics, the more I got used to using them on faces as well as on clothes or uniforms, and equipment, and so on. I would up relegating my oils to use for weathering.
    Though I still do return to my original idea of learning to paint with oils and painting flats with them, the traditional way.
    I think both media have their advantages, and their disadvantages, but those even out and it becomes a matter of preference.

    skeeterbuck likes this.
  13. Forté A Fixture

    Reduces the chance of any spirit based thinners stripping the acrylics.
    Nap, theBaron and skeeterbuck like this.
  14. Mirofsoft A Fixture

    I paint first whihout any shadow or light with Humbrol, a tone lighter, the I apply oils
    Something to try faces, hands ( skin ) Humbrol flesh then after 24Hr drying time, I apply brown ochre and wipe all lateraly with a sponge and I have automaticaly all highligthed and shadowed tones, then I work on them adding lighter an darker tones, blending them all with a round brush, look a the way ladys apply thei makeup with a brush and do the same ...;
  15. Helm A Fixture

    I've always painted oils straight onto acrylics, never had any issues with it personally. Then again, I'm a rebel :eek: who also paints acrylics onto oils and never had the issues people say can occur.
    Mike - The Kiwi and kagemusha like this.
  16. Mirofsoft A Fixture

    I use Enamels, Acrylics, Oils, Chinese Inks, Solid Pastels (reduced to dust ), black pencils, colored markers, highlithers ( include to many h ;) )
    Oils quality ones for painting, cheap ones ( Chineses 12€ a pack of 10 ) for weathering and painting ground and walls in plaster
    Weathering with cheap low quality brushes, use of Indian ink pen with sepia ink for deep shadows, under vest, under pockets .... etc
    Try everything and judge by yourself what suit best for you . Use short, long brushes, tipped, rounded, flat, sponges ( good choice for small ones in the ladies makeup boxes )
    For eyes in 54mm and smaller size, you can use markers, they even exist in 0.05mm in various coulours, deep brown or even black then a white dot ( not in the center but same place both eyes ) to simulate light reflexion
    And and and .... no, no hand for an ant
  17. Wayneb A Fixture

    From someone who has stalled out and hasn't painted anything in almost a year. I keep telling myself to just make a move on something. I have paint, I have acrylics, I have oils. And now I'm trying to kick myself in the ass to just make a move on something to keep up the creative process. So, in answer to your question, I would say just slap some paint on something and see where it takes you and then you will know what questions to ask.

  18. Russ Active Member

    @Wayne: Try building a simple plane, a tank, or even a car model.

    I've been building planes and tanks for years, even competing somewhat successfully. Hit a stall point, started several kits but just haven't been able to complete one. THEN, for some reason, I started a bust I'd bought. Then another. And another. I'm making better progress and getting more busts and figures one the road to "Dunn"; I'm convinced it's a palette-cleansing type of thing. I'm even starting to think fondly of some of the planes and tanks I've got almost finished. ;)
    Wayneb likes this.
  19. Wayneb A Fixture

    Thanks for your input Russ.....


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