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Thursday, February 11, 2016

How to create oil/cold wax pieces in one day

One of Joanne's completed pieces

Artist Joanne Licardo organized a private class for her and several friends at my studio last weekend.. We had the challenge of a one day class in oil and cold wax painting on Arches Oil paper. I've taught one day classes in this medium before and they are always a fun and interesting challenge.

Oil and cold wax paintings are most often a long process of building up layers, incising and scraping back and building up more layers, etc. However, oil and cold wax dry more quickly on paper than on panel, so that was a plus for us. Students also learned how to use a solvent to make the paint dry faster while still keeping the cold wax effects. We used small amounts of Citra-Solv to help the paint dry more quickly and to add drips and other interesting effects. Some students also experimented with working on flat birch panels and Terra Skin stone paper.

Many pieces were completed at the end of the day and others were well on their way. All the participants were experienced painters, but some were used to faster drying mediums, so that was a challenge for them. Below you can see some of the pieces that evolved over this wonderful day!

The first layers on paper. They were left to set up and students then moved on to new pieces.

We all declared this piece finished "alla prima" or all at once, on the first round of paitning.

More completed pieces: 

This piece and the one below were completed at one go!

This piece was created rapidly on TerraSkin Stone Paper

There were still more pieces that I somehow didn't get photos of. Thank you to all the lovely and energetic students in this group for an exciting and rewarding day!

BTW, if you would like to experience the joys of oil and cold wax on paper, there are still a few spots open in my Portland OR Art and Soul Retreat class, "Expressive Abstraction in Oil, Cold Wax, and Paper."


  1. these are so marvelous Serena , and to think they were completed in one day-wow!! Would have loved to be there.

  2. Thanks for sharing - enjoying your book!

  3. A belated thank you, Linda and Patt!