If This Were a Painting…

This might look like a painting, or at least, an attempt at a painting. It’s not. It’s merely another quick study in oil.  What’s the difference between a painting and a study? If both are done in oil, aren’t they both… well… paintings?

I suppose so, but for me there’s one big difference. I do paintings on canvas panels or stretched canvas. I do studies on canvas paper. There’s quite a difference between the two.

The canvas paper — which comes in a pad like drawing paper — is wonderful for quick little practice pieces, such as the Four Seasons studies I did recently. It’s great when I want to play with mixing colors, or when I’m learning new brush techniques.

What’s not so great is that it reacts differently than canvas panels. It has a slightly different surface texture, and it’s far more difficult to blend colors smoothly. In this study, you can see streaks in the sky. Many of my brushstrokes are more visible than I would like, as well.

Yet, I think this piece conveys the mood and the atmosphere I intended, and had I done this on a canvas panel where I could have blended the wispy clouds better and eliminated the cerulean blue streaks, I think I would have liked it.

It is another simple composition, but one with a more clearly defined focal point, I think. Hopefully the white cloud toward the left center catches your eye and leads your view down toward the trees. From there, maybe your eyes travel along the edge of the hill. They should then move back up toward the wispy clouds in the sky, but those didn’t come out quite the way I wanted.

The idea was to capture a bit of the weather we’re having today. Heavy rain is expected. Here is a photo I took of the morning sky.


In my study, I used more blue in the sky, but it wasn’t entirely intentional. My colors didn’t blend quite the way I expected. Again, working on the canvas paper is different, and I don’t always gets the effects I’m going for. But it’s all right. For a practice piece, I think today’s study works, and if this were a painting, I think I’d probably like it.

Either way, I hope you like what I’ve done here, and I hope you’re having lovely weather wherever you may be.


  1. If you want the same canvas/paint feel in your studies that you would like in your paintings you can buy a small roll of canvas and cut it to “study” size pieces and tape it to a board.

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  2. I’ve used the canvas paper sheets as well..for me it didnt feel right..idk why..maybe because i didnt feel like i had a “solid” foundation..however, i do agree that for this purpose ( practice/studies) it is wonderful.As the above comment states , i so often have extra canvas from rolls of it i use to stretch my own, it’s pretty cheap to use those as studies or pallet mixing- for acrylics in my case:)

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    1. Yes, there’s just a slightly different feeling to the canvas sheets from a pad. They’re great though for lots of the practice things I do… like color mixing or brushstrokes.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Now we’re having rain, rain, and more rain. I love the rain but we’re still having some problems with water getting into the studio when we have downpours. My husband is working on resolving the issue. I hope he comes up with a solution because we’re going to have a lot of storms today.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. For me, a “study” is sort of a practice piece, sort of like a “rough draft”, or a place to experiment with different things. I like doing oil painting “studies” on inexpensive canvas paper rather than on stretched canvases or canvas panels.


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