Oil Painting Techniques and key to success

Feb 24, 2013 by

Oil Painting Techniques and key to success. Meet my dear artist friend Kim Ballard, she’s a portrait painter and figure painter. I met Kim at the Arizona Fine Art Expo juried show in 2007. Boy, that was so long ago…my first show and it definitely wasn’t hers!

It’s at your very first exhibiting show you see just how much you are a fish out of water. The first major sign is the work shown; I had a bit of everything…you want variety, but not be all over the map! lol

Kim, however had these gorgeous huge paintings, all beautifully framed…we’re talking museum quality work here folks. And boy could she nail portraits. Not could, can.

But these past 6 years Kim and I have learned much from each other; giving encouragement but also constructive criticism where needed.

More than anything, Kim has been working hard at bringing that effortless execution in her work. That less is more approach. And funny enough, that is harder. We’ve both been working at loosening up our work, great study of our mentor, Harley Brown’s work…(left)

Think of it this way;

it’s like working with dough…


when you’ve done it a thousand times, you know what the dough is supposed to feel like and there’s a point where
if you overwork it-

it will show in the end result. It won’t rise properly, the texture won’t feel quite like it should…
you over thought it and over worked it.

kim ballard


The same is true with painting, to create that flawless execution, it can only come with thousands of brushstrokes, color mixing and painting later. You have to know what you’re doing-

without thinking about it. She was sharing with me, “it’s so hard! When you rely on simply brushstrokes to do the job, that paint has to be the right color, the right temperature, the right stroke all in one.”


That takes planning. Planning of years, practice, heartache, destroyed canvas and tears of joy, gratitude when it finally “clicks”.
And yet look at her growth!! Oil Painting Techniques and key to success here. Compare the first painting above completed in 2009 compared to the latest, here at the bottom in 2013!! Such power, vibrance, energy and variety!! Absolutely STUNNING.

Here is a link to her website if you’re dying to get a portrait done, or just to see the rest of her talent.


To your Prosperity!

Deborah Peters Phoenix Artist

Inquire about Original Art here: Deborah@digdeeppeople.com
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