Beth Bathe,
Beth Bathe, "Pipkas Cottage," 2017, water-mixable oils, 12 x 24 in., Private collection, Plein air

In this demonstration from PleinAir Magazine, we see how Beth Bathe uses water-mixable oils to create the tonal landscape painting, “Pipkas Cottage.”

Step 1
After determining the crop of her subject, Beth Bathe mixes a thin wash of raw umber (Cobra water-mixable oil) and water. She uses an old 1 1/2-inch chip brush to block in large masses on her prepared gesso board covered with a light coating of water-mixable safflower oil. This oil base creates a barrier between the paint and the substrate, allowing her to take paint off the panel more easily and preventing staining of the white panels. She allows paint drips and random strokes to help define the composition.

water mixable oils tutorial Beth Bathe 1


Step 2
The artist begins to take away areas of paint, using paper towel, squeegees, and cotton swabs to carve out her subject. She adds more transparent paint with flat synthetic brushes. Keeping to a tonal palette, she might add ultramarine blue or transparent red oxide to cool or warm an area.

water mixable oils tutorial Beth Bathe 1


Step 3
She adds more detail, including the window trim and spots of color. The white picket fence is added by touching a rubber squeegee to the paint, lifting off the raw umber. Some of the original paint drips and random strokes are left in their original state, becoming trees or bushes.

Step 3 of the painting tutorial

(Final painting shown at top)

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