My 2nd Oil Painting – Giant Lettuce and Five Tomatoes (2007)

Click here to enlarge

My 1st Oil Painting was a plate of fruit, a bottle of wine, and a small magazine. This time round, I wanted to try something slightly different (click here or the thumbnail on the left to view a larger image). Too bad, all the grapes I have bought couple of days ago are already inside my stomach. Since I didn’t have flowers in the house, I have decided to paint my lettuce inside the refrigerator together with five tomatoes. The working title of my second oil painting was “Dinner at Seven (You Are Mine Tonight)”. That explains the knife by the way.

(Quick look at the painting against the live setup)

I found painting the lettuce was the most challenging part of all. Looking closely, there were lots of light and dark areas in a certain pattern. Comparatively, making the tomatoes to look 3D was much easier.

My second painting aside, I currently run into some unresolved logistic difficulties. Depending on the colours I use, some parts of the paintings may take up to 2 weeks to get reasonably dry. According to the experts, oil paintings take up to 6 to 9 months to dry to a stage that can be varnished and framed up to the walls. So meanwhile, what do I do with all my wet paintings? I have already used up 3 boards (coming next: Seletar Reservoir Under A Blue Cloudy Sky) and each board costs slightly more than S$5. I have to find a way to temporarily hold my paintings to dry for at least 2 weeks and to store them nicely thereafter for 6 to 9 months. Right now, I have no clue (any suggestions?).

In an attempt to quicken this drying process, from my second painting onwards, I use a drying agent called Alkyd Flow Medium. It supposes to work wonder and I can see the immediate effect on how fast my paints dry up on my palette (I must have overdone it a bit). After I was done with the painting, time for washing up and I have ignorantly used my hands to clean the dippers that had Alkyd in it. All of a sudden, my hands were covered with this very sticky stuff that could not be washed off. Whatever I touched got sticky too. It took me 20 to 30 washes with lot of hand soap to get the Alkyd off my hands. After that horrifying experience, I use lots of paper towels to wipe the dipper clean after each painting session instead. Not everything can be learned from the books I guess.

Click here for my oil painting “gallery”.

2 thoughts on “My 2nd Oil Painting – Giant Lettuce and Five Tomatoes (2007)”

  1. hahaha… i like the title “Dinner at Seven (You are Mine Tonight)”, especially the “You are Mine Tonight”!!!!!!!!!!! hahahaha…. lovely~~~~~~ =)

    oh… i haven’t thought that it takes so long to dry…. not sure whether i saw from movies or elsewhere, i have a scene on my mind that the painter clipped his/her paintings one by one on a string…. something like what mum did when we were small to hang the wet clothes on a string with clips one by one for natural drying. i am not too sure how accurate is that scene on my mind, but i guess you can explore the possibility with a shop specialised in painting…. there you may be able to get a clue from the sales person…. 🙂

  2. Perhaps that is why some painters have a studio as big as a warehouse!

    I think once I am getting better, I will paint on canvas (have to find a cheaper way than buying that S$50 per piece I have seen in one of the shops) and then just hang them onto the wall.

    The actual drying process is 6 to 9 months. But the paintings do get reasonably dry after 2 weeks or so.

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