Learning oils… from Louis Maestas

I learned how to do rub-out-oils in 2004  when I took a seminar by Louis Maestas, at the gallery in Sandpoint, Idaho. You can see more information about this technique at Lou’s gallery link. He is truly a gifted and inspirational artist mentor and if you ever get a chance to see his work or go and meet him I suggest that you do!  He is a self confident artist with no ego, and his talent is a blessing that he has no worries about sharing it with others.  I strive to become like him in any way I can. I still feel a great love for this artist and his beautiful work, from just one weekend spent learning from him.

Rub-out is a fun and simple method of laying a layer of oil pigment on the canvas and rubbing back off the highlights with cloth and fingers. Prior to this I had painted mostly with watercolors and acrylic or concentrated on drawing, avoiding oils, finding them quite confusing and difficult to use.  I still do a lot of watercolor work but oils are my favorite medium for larger works, and rub-out is the foundation block of how I go about painting with them.

Here are the 2 paintings done during that weekend seminar in 2004.

The “onion” was the first oil painting I did as I learned how to use oils. Lou laughed at mine saying I must be an “artist” because I was the only one who painted the onion cut open. everyone else had simply painted the sphere shape. I have a naturally creative artist mind. Yep.

onion rub out oil
first oil rub out done at Louis Maestes seminar 2004.

We went home and started a second painting of our own subject that evening, that we packed up and brought back to the class and finished the next day with his help.

Hillyard skate park oil rub out
second rub out oil done in Louis Maestas seminar 2004

This is the second oil rub-out done at Lou’s class that weekend. “Hillyard Skate Park G104”.  Lou laughed again when I showed them my painting because I didn’t choose a simple subject for my second attempt at oil painting. “No.” I chose to paint a skate park landscape filled with a dozen or so figures performing aerial stunts. Yep, that ought to be easy. We artist’s are crazy people aren’t we?