Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back to Studio with a New Oil Painting

Last month it was extremely hot in the studio, so I tried working during late hours and I put more time on online marketing. I guess my hard work paid off and I made a few sales! Now my ETSY Shop rating has 5 stars, thanks to my wonderful collectors.

"Girl reading in Central Park" by Birsen Ozbilge
6" x 8,75", oil on wood panel, 2013

Last week, I worked on a small oil painting. I got inspired by the subject of "book reading". I used to have lunch breaks in Central Park, New York, while I was working at The Frick Museum. This painting brings back those good memories...   

work in progress


"Lunch break" by Birsen Ozbilge
Oil on canvas, 7" x 9.5" (18 x 24 cm.)
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The original artwork is available to purchase, click on Artmajeur
Reproduction print is available to purchase, click on ETSY

Friday, June 23, 2017

Plein air painting from Tenerife

Gran Canaria above the clouds

Plein air travel kit for the flight

Last week I flew with my plein air art materials to our neighbor island Tenerife. Before the trip I did my research about how to pack these materials according to the airline company's rules. So, we checked the tools, watercolors and oil pastels with the wooden box into the luggage. I was able to take the portable easel with me without checking it but they had to hold it until we land. At the end everything arrived safely. Same way, I had no problem on the way back. 

Working with oil pastels

Gran Canaria above the clouds, Oil pastel on blue pastel paper

When we arrived the weather in Tenerife was great, you could see Gran Canaria very clear. Generally this is a sign that the following days rain might come... Anyways, I took advantage of this beautiful and rare occasion to paint with oil pastels (see above).
Work in progress

Casa de "La finca", watercolor on paper

The following days were cloudy and rainy as we were expecting... But I had the chance to paint outside with watercolors (see above). When it was rainy outside, I did drawings looking out from the window (see below).

drawing from the sketchbook

drawing from the sketchbook

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Painting is my bread and butter

“Self-Portrait” by Anders Zorn, for the Uffizi Gallery. 1889

Lately I was doing research about Anders Leonard Zorn, Sweden's most celebrated master painter and his painting technique. I watched a few documentaries and read about his life, which was quite interesting, so I would like to share with you a little bit of that... Zorn was born in 1860 in Mora, Sweden. He studied at Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm. He was planned to become a sculptor but his talent on painting changed everything on his career, so he became a very famous portrait artist, in the same league as JoaquĆ­n Sorolla and John Singer Sargent. He painted three US presidents and many wealthy people, for a total of 550 portrait paintings. Besides painting with oils, he was actually a watercolor master. He created 300 etchings and some bronze sculptures as well. After his death in 1920, his wife donated all his artworks to the Swedish government and founded Zorn Museum in Mora, Sweden.

Zorn palette has very limited colors, including cadmium red, yellow ochre, ivory black and titanium white. In addition to this colors he used very small amount of blue and green, only when needed. Also alternated them with red and black variations. I prepared a chart with these colors to see the possibilities. I found incredible that there were so many warm and cool tones and these are great for portraits, still-life and landscape paintings (see pic below).

work in progress

After studying "Zorn Palette" I was ready to set my still-life composition. This time my main objects were bread, butter and butter knife. "Bread and butter" means; something that provides you with regular income, your job basically... It's symbolic way to express myself as a painter.

I toned the wood panel with acrylic blue color. I started to paint the structure of the composition with a dark tone color and laid the mid tones inside first. I created three sections of background using black, yellow ochre and white mixtures. Practicing "Alla Prima" oil painting technique I added darks and the highlights at the end (see pic below). 

work in progress

"Bread and butter" by Birsen Ozbilge
7" x 6", oil on wood panel.
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