Oil Painters of the Art League (OPAL)

The Special Interest Group, OPAL, began meeting in Fall 2017 and is focusing on the art of oil painting.  The Oil Painters of the Art League (OPAL) holds art sessions on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, from October to April, 9am to noon in the SRAL Main Studio.  There is no cost to participants -- all instructors and models, volunteer their time to help the artists.  The group is open to all members interested in pursuing their love of creating fine art with oil paints.

Furthermore, the OPAL group has expanded its main focus on oil painting to include examining those in the past who added to the field as well as keeping abreast of trends, experimentation, and pathways that artists are pursuing.

Some of the activities encompassing the scope of the OPAL group includes:
   Introduction to oil painting as an avocation.
   Art sessions examining a variety of themes:
      portraiture, landscapes, still life, plein air, abstract, etc
   Art history and art technique sessions utilizing the video collection in the SRAL library
   Group visits to Art Galleries and Art Museums in Tucson.

If you are interested in attending the OPAL sessions, here is a list of materials you may want to consider.   But first, let's be honest -- art materials are expensive -- prices have increased by 100% to 300% in the past 5 to 8 years at some suppliers -- so in the OPAL sessions we utilize the basic items needed.   We will try various techniques, solely for practice -- the intension is not necessarily to create a finished piece.

Here's a list of basics:

Oil Paints     (NOT Acrylic paints)
   Titanium White                                          150ml tube
   Black                                                           37ml tube
   Alizarin Crimson or Red,                             37ml tube
   Primary Yellow                                            37 ml tube
   Ultramarine Blue or Cobalt Blue                 37 ml tube

Bristle Brushes        (stiff bristles are necessary to push oil paint -- many oil painters use FLATs
    #6, #8, #10                                     but Rounds, Filberts, or Brights are fine)
Panels                 (not stretched canvas)
   Hardboard Masonite, particleboard, gesso board, fiberboard, even plywood, etc.
   Can be plain board, or board covered with canvas, or plain board covered with a coat of Gesso
   A good size is 16 x 20. 

Solvents / Thinners / Cleaner
   Odorless Turpenoid is a common thinner -- some use odorless mineral spirits
   However, for painting inside, especially with a group, the safest solvent is Spike Lavender.

Binder           (helps hold paint to canvas)
   Most common binder is Linseed Oil   (oil paints have linseed or another type of oil already mixed
                                                                  in with the color pigments)
          NOTE:  Spike Lavender is both a binder and solvent/thinner

   Something on which to carry your paints -- 
   Can be a piece of wood, disposable paper palette, even an old panel.

Roll of paper towels

Gloves -- plastic / latex (examining gloves from the pharmacy)

Grocery Bags for trash

Old Clothes
   Visit your local White Elephant, used clothing, Goodwill, or Salvation Army store to purchase a
   large, over-sized shirt and maybe some shorts or trousers that will catch paint drips.  Many 
   painters set aside certain clothing to be used just for painting.  Why ruin your best outfits.

A cautionary NOTE:
If you are sensitive to the smell of paint thinner, turpentine, mineral spirits, etc., you may want to try another medium such as watercolors, acrylics, or pastels, rather than oil painting.
Regardless of what art suppliers say about solvents, there is always a slight smell from any of the products available.

If you have questions, send me an e-mail at:   razmetcalf@gmail.com
If you wish to view my art, click on my web site: www.RichMetcalf.com

If you are interested in what happened in our last session, click on Last Session.