This series answers everyone’s first questions about the art, craft and science of painting. How is it done? How are the effects of light, distance or perspective achieved? Why are brush strokes, composition and colour important? How is a likeness created by a portrait painter? How do you know when a picture is finished? Oil on canvas deals with these questions through the eyes of the artists.
In each programme we join a leading contemporary painter as a new work is created, from the first mark to the final moment, when there is nothing more to be done. The process is different for each painter and always unpredictable. Desperate measures are sometimes needed in the struggle to pin down he elusive vision; drenching the canvas in turpentine, or scraping all the paint off and then doing it again and again, until the painting is right.
Documentary filming, together with subtle historical dramatisations, help to build up a picture of the thinking that underlies creativity. In each programme, the subject and the evolving pictures are illuminated by significant moments in the history of painting. Inventions and technical developments transform the way artists work and the appearance of paintings.
Oil on Canvas offers an enjoyable and stimulating insight into picture making, which will tempt viewers to find a brush and put oil on canvas.