Summertime studio & my first oil painting…



Here's a quick peek of my Summer studio space! I've been redecorating it to be pretty, inspiring and (most importantly) super functional for creating. 


Also, here is a peek at my first oil painting. I'm experimenting with a lot of new ideas right now and oil painting is one thing I've wanted to try for the past year. Anyone have tips for oil painting? (especially interested in solutions for eliminating the chemical smell… or is that just part of the process?)

Fun news— Starting tomorrow, June 1st, I'll be listing new paintings every single day for a month! The collection includes both huge statement pieces to teeny-tiny original works. New pieces are done in Oil, Acrylic, Gouache and Water Colors. 

I think I'm going to spend my first day of summer in my new studio. How are you going to spend yours? 

XO. e

  • your studio is so awesome!
    and i love this new lovely painting. great job with the oil πŸ˜€

  • i love your studio! especially the deer and your painting is just wonderful

    love from amelia of la ville inconnue

  • I agree with the turpenoid natural …it’s way better. Also, I’ve never tried water based oil paints but I bet it would help. Good luck, oil is more time consuming but you can blend way better with it and the colors are soo rich!

  • i use grumtine . it smells like oranges and actually makes the smell of oil painting quite pleasant and more enjoyable. oils are perfect for precise painting, i for your style of work i would use it for larger concept pieces. good luck! it takes some getting used to!

  • oh my goddness panda painting!! It was meant for me!!!!!!!! Are you going to sell it by chance? πŸ˜›



  • love the oil painting! I just tried oil painting for the first time a few weeks ago but I used a palette knife and mine didn’t turn out as good. Still fun though! πŸ™‚

  • thanks for the advise! i’m gonna try the natural turpenoid.

    lindsay, i’m definitely selling this girls.. as soon as she dries. maybe in a week or two?


  • oooh such a cute studio… I spent the first day of summer (and the first sunny day in portland in awhile) with my feet hanging out my second story window reading a clothbound edition of pride and prejudice.

  • Love the painting! I’ll be spending the first day of summer getting ready for one of my best friends to visit!

  • That panda girl painting is beautiful! I love the little changes you made to your style in it, it looks incredible!

  • i am not a painter [yet?] but The Husband likes to open up the vials of oils and such at the art store to smell them and remember when he was a kid and his dad used to paint…so i don’t know if you can ditch the fumes, but maybe some nice memories will be made with them?

  • some oil paints that don’t smell as bad are Utrecht oil paints and if you want the oil paint to dry a little faster and it also helps if you want to do glazing use liquin i think thats how you spell them i hope this helps.

  • oh my word…gouache paint!?!?!? that stuff made me want to change my major in college! haha! i had put those memories way way out of my mind. hehe! hope you had better luck using it than i ever did! can’t wait to see your new paitings! how fun!

    xoxo andie…

  • How am I spending my first day of June? Hm, well my best friend and I are going to this place to go check out a bicycle I found on craigslist. It’s my dream bike, and I just hope it’s the right size for me. Then we’re going to an Indian restaurant that we’ve never eaten at. I’m not a fan of Indian food, but he loves it.

    By the way, I love the set up in your studio. It’s really cute. Where did you find that adorable deer?

    <3 Jenni Loo

  • After trying out a few different kinds I settled on turpenoid natural, you should try it out! I also like painting outdoors when the weather is good, the natural light helps with colors and the smell is barely there.

  • That’s a super cute painting. Simple and well drawn πŸ˜€

    Love and Turtledoves,

  • I love the smell of oil paints. it will naturally fade away after months of drying but for now you will have to get used to it (as far as I know)….which you will! then you’ll miss it! πŸ™‚

  • Hi Elsie! I love that green table! Where do you find such cute stuff??

    Regarding the smelly oil paints, I recommend using water-soluble oils. They are EXACTLY like regular oil paints in color, texture, drying time, everything! The only difference is that you can use water instead of turpentine or any other chemicals to clean them up! I’ve used them for a while now and LOVE them.


  • I just use regular dish soap for cleaning my brushes. Works great and you can avoid nasty chemicals for clean up. I agreed with the orange based stuff too and liquin works great for glazing and helping drying time

  • she is so cute! i tried oils a long time ago, but was so impatient for the drying period. i stuck with acrylics, but maybe you will have more patience then me πŸ™‚ she looks fabulous!

  • When I was young, I took an oil painting class and we used vegetable oil to fix mistakes in our paintings. I wonder if that would work.

  • I love love love the smell! My grandmother and my father are painters so it reminds me of their studios and my childhood spent there taking art classes.

    I would just learn to embrace it? I know it can be a little bit strong at first but I would just open a window or something

  • Oh my. The pics of your studio made my heart skip an extra beat.Love!! I could imagine spending all day making things in there for sure!

  • I know what you can do is buy water-soluble oil paints. That way it eliminates having to use one of those thinner chemicals, plus they are easier to mix :]

  • I’ve got a handy hint which helped me with art last semester: if you’re using oil paints you can use shampoo instead of turps to wash your hands and your brushes because they’re both designed to break down oils. plus your brushes will smell super sweet!

  • My boyfriend uses oil paints and the turpentine for cleaning the brushes gave us headaches. He now uses water mixable oil paints, which he says are just as good and cuts out the chemicals. Or you can get odourless turpentine, which is just as chemically but doesn’t smell.

  • Hey Elsie! Your painting looks great! I will pick up some extra brush cleaner when I get more…I need to get some anyway. It has much less chemical smell than a lot of other brush cleaners. As far as the smell from the oil paint, there’s not much you can do….

  • Love the painting! If you’re not already, I suggest dipping your brush in some linseed oil (or Liquin) before applying any color. It helps the color go on smoother and blend easier.

  • Hullo, super cute lady.

    I’m a ghost round ehre, I never have anything useful to say. But hey, try using Zestit. It’s a milder alternative to turpentine…it doesn’t irritate the skin and it has a decent smell…kind of like oranges.

  • Hey Elsie!

    Use stand oil or linseed oil to make your oils last longer! (since they are so expensive!) All you do is just ad a couple drops to your pile of paint!

    I know acrylic brushes are really hard on your bristles so you may want to get different brushes for oil.

    Also, when you are first starting dilute down your oil with turpenoid so it’s quite thin and do your outline then! My teacher always recommended blocking in your objects and wiping out areas of interest, highlights, etc. with an old t-shirt. On old t-shirt is always a must with oils. (for me!)

    Also, oil doesn’t go down the sink so I usually put the old, yucky turp in an old coffee can! (you need to always make sure to have your turpenoid clear or else it will brown your paint! πŸ™‚

    Also, I don’t know what your palette is for acrylic, but I just got a large piece of glass and ALSO a paint scraper! (unless if you’re perfect and you take off the paint right after you’re done painting!! (haha… not me!)

    AND ONE LAST THING: HAVE FUN!!!!! The good thing about oil is that it doesn’t dry right away so you can always come back and blend things and retouch without having to necessarily paint over!

    If you responded to this on my blog… it would make my entire blog career πŸ™‚

    Polly πŸ™‚

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  • Use Weber Turpenoid Natural for thinner. Forget about waterbased paint. Most of my class was unimpressed with it.