Yesterday Saturday 5th, I was invited by local art materials supplier Gruppo Italia for a live painting session to promote their Winsor & Newton Artisan water based oils. I really enjoyed this opportunity to paint in public and to showcase the features of this rather new medium which is basically oil painting with all its advantages and none of its inconveniences.

Water based oils are the same as regular oil paintings, except that it has been altered at the molecular level to react chemically with water. This chemical alteration is actually not a new discovery, as soap, which is oily, also combines with water.

For my demonstration, I used Liquin Original as the painting medium.

The live painting session lasted close to four hours. I used a photograph from a calendar as reference and, because of the time limitations, I painted in plein air fashion.

The 16″ x 20″ canvas was prepared with an acrylic yellow ochre imprimatura. I drew a small thumbnail sketch in pencil on my drawing pad to set up the composition according to the dimensions of the canvas.

With Burnt Sienna, thinned with Liquin, I laid in the general lines and shapes. From then on, it was a matter of applying color in various mixes to recreate the tonal values of the scene.

I felt very proud of the results achieved during the painting session. There were no odor complaints as in regular oils and after the painting was done, it was an easy task to wash the brushes and my hands with plain soap and water. No need for toxic turpentine or mineral spirits.

As for the spectator comments, I was very glad to hear how they felt drawn to enter the scene and be there enjoying the sunlight and the color and, secondly, the amazing power of painting when it comes to depicting reality with short and carefully placed brushstrokes, no depiction of flowers and leaves whatsoever.