Abstract Painting in Oils with Colors of New Mexico

New Mexico Colors, 24 x 30", oil. Unfinished. Karen Gillis Taylor, 2014

New Mexico Colors, 24 x 30″, oil. Unfinished. Karen Gillis Taylor, 2014

Day 23 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge kept me pushing on to bring this painting at least to the “block in” stage, with all the colors from my original rough sketch set onto the canvas. The little sketch is about 5 x 7″, and this canvas is 24 x 30″. I am not working in layers today with the oils as I often do with acrylics. One layer, make it right, move on to the next section!

This required good color mixing to match my original color plan, which allowed me to work like this. I like oils in that you can pre-mix the colors without worrying they will dry out, even in Colorado.

I pre-mixed my light colors first, from white to yellow to orange to rust and applied to the canvas with a palette knife. No brushes on this painting. Then I cleaned off my palette and premixed the darker, cooler colors, adding a few new color mixes for variety of values, as I went.

Then, toward the end of the day, I suddenly was working against the clock! I needed to finish so I could photograph this painting to post on the Challenge website, and the sun was setting. I have a perfect place outdoors for shooting my paintings in natural light. But that requires light! Just in time, I finished and took the painting outside, very wet with oils and trying not to bump anything with this large canvas as I maneuvered my way outdoors.

Done for the day! Now I will let this one dry before adding final little details. Whew! My reward today is feeling that sense of completion and having something to share with you all! A good future topic might be to compare the differences of painting with oils versus acrylics. Hmmm….

Thanks for reading,




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2 Responses to “Abstract Painting in Oils with Colors of New Mexico”

  1. rjkary Says:

    Thanks Karen, for sharing your color! I think it’s helped me with my acrylic painting. Color harmony really makes a difference in coming up with a beautiful finished painting. Ruth


    • karen Says:

      Ruth, that really makes me happy to know this. I do have better success myself when I create my color palettes at the beginning. You can always add or subtract as you paint, as you may have discovered, but it gives a person confidence right at the outset.


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