When thinking about art, painting is often the first thing that springs to mind. We asked some of the North Bristol Artists to explain more about how they go about creating their artwork, and the different types of paintings you can see on the trail.

Painting Mediums

A big factor in the type of effect achieved in a painting is the type of paint used. 

Jane Cooper - oil landscape

Oil Paint

Oil paint is slow to dry, with paint often staying wet for 2-3 weeks after application. This allows areas to be reworked and blended with great precision and subtlety. The downside is that oil painting is a slow and messy process.

Laurel Smart - Abstract Painting

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints are quicker and easier to use than oil paints, and produce bright, reliable colours and crisp lines. However, they are hard to blend and rework, making it hard to achieve consistency on large paintings.

LauraRobertson Bristol bears

Watercolour Paint

Watercolours are the easiest paint in some ways – the pigment can be activated and cleaned up with just water, making it ideal for painting on location. The transparent nature means colours seem to glow. However, watercolours are tricky to keep neat and mistakes can be impossible to correct. 

My Process – Jane Boot

“I started work as a collage artist, but over the last few years I have taught myself watercolour and now work predominately in acrylics. I still produce two or three collages a year, but they are very time consuming and completely take over all my space in the studio!

I love to create paintings based on the landscape. Many are recalled from memories or loose sketches which have been logged into my idea’s books. Sometimes they just evolve from nowhere.

 To break the fear of the blank canvas I will quickly cover the surface with random colours, inks, pastels, or anything that comes to hand! I am merely laying an uneven surface; which I can then work into as I develop the painting. At this stage, I may add a few pieces of hand-dyed paper and then paint the next layer which will determine the colours for the end result.  I will continue to paint, scrape, dilute, draw until I see the beginnings of the final piece. This is an exciting process as there are so many twists and turns. As I near the end of the journey I paint very little and probably do more drawing with either ink, watercolour pencil, or an acrylic paint marker.”

Jane Boot - Tree Painting
Barney Wharam - Portrait painting

What to look for when buying a painting?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before buying a painting.

  • Does it come framed and ready to hang or will that cost extra? If not, who will arrange for it to be framed, you or the seller?
  • Does the work fit with your budget?
  • Where would your display the work? Do you have enough wall space to hang it well?
  • How will you transport the piece safely to your home? This is especially important for larger works.
  • How do the colours and themes of the work fit in to your existing decor?

The key thing to remember when buying any artwork is how it makes you feel – will you be happy to see it every day?