How to create a dynamic surface painting with oil & cold wax?

Cold wax is a versatile and forgiving painting medium. The essential characteristic of cold wax is the ability to respond quickly to changing ideas and chance events whilst working on a painting. Those with experience with oil paints will know the limitations imposed by traditional oil paints, particularly the extended drying times; sometimes, days and weeks can go by before you can apply successive layers effectively.

landscape painting of a forest oil and cold wax how to create a dynamic surface
'New Forest' 80 x 80 x 4 cm on canvas

Yes, you can introduce commercial additives that speed up the drying process. Still, this approach often has a downside, and there are implications for how these chemicals alter the structure and appearance of the paint layers. Cold wax is both transformative and liberating, although it will not be for everyone. You may be disappointed if you are primarily interested in fine control and meticulous attention to detail. We can increase the ratio of wax to turpentine to maximise the flow qualities of the oil pigment. However, I believe cold wax is for those who enjoy working with tactile qualities, raised surfaces, and impasto.

landscape painting peter corr oil and cold wax how to create a dynamic surface
New Forest (detail)

This landscape painting on canvas employs various techniques and approaches. I apply the first layer with a brayer using burnt umber, and phthalo blue with 50% cold wax. Lighter tones using burnt sienna and yellow ochre covering the textured first layer provide opportunities for carving and mark-making in an approach very similar to the intaglio etching process. I have also added pumice stone and organic material to the paint/ cold wax mix to generate unexpected textures and raised surfaces. Although I alternate between brayers, palette knives, and brushes, the final layers use the flat edge of cards and palette knives to introduce highlights and emphasise depth.

landscape painting peter corr oil and cold wax how to create a dynamic surface
'New Forest' (detail)

I haven't decided whether this painting is finished; I like to wait for the dust to settle before making a final decision. From my experience, ideas and feelings constantly change, and time is often needed before I begin to see what I have achieved or failed to achieve. There are always perceptual shifts to accommodate that psychological and physical space between the painting and the artist. The criteria for judging the value of creative work are not fixed and one can only hope that there will be an alignment of thoughts, feelings, and ideas with the practical outcome; this collection of tones, textures, and marks on a stretched sheet of woven cotton.

More Forest Landscape artworks can be viewed on my online art gallery. They are available for purchase, all you need to do is just get in touch! A few examples can be seen below!

I hope to see you around the Cambridgeshire art galleries and UK exhibitions. If you can't wait until then, you can view my artworks online! If you find an artwork you love and want to know more or make a purchase just contact us directly. All artworks are for sale and commissions are welcomed. I look forward to hearing from you to guide you through the process to buy art online from the UK to anywhere in the world. Another option is to come to one of the Affordable Art Fairs in England, my work can be seen in person at the affordable art fairs, come back to find details on free tickets to future fairs too.

Upcoming Exhibitions and Art Fairs

I will be exhibiting abstract landscape artwork inspired by the Fenlands in Britain at future Affordable Art Fairs, sign up to the newsletter to keep up to date. I will be exhibiting with Linton 59 and Darryl Nantais Art Gallery is representing my artwork. I do hope you can be there and see my artworks up close.

Peter Corr Affordable Art Fair Hampstead 2022 Art Artists Artist to look out for watch this space, emerging artist cambridgeshire cambridge local art painting abstract landscape karl linton 59 linton59 the darryl nantais gallery aaf affordable art painting for sale paintings
Forest Paintings by Peter Corr at the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead 2022

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Art Buyers and Collectors: How To Buy an original Peter Corr artwork

If you take a look at my art gallery and would like to purchase an original oil painting, you can email my Art Representative, Karl, at The Darryl Nantais Gallery Ltd on or get in contact via the contact form on his website Please add the name/title of the artwork in your message. It may have already sold, but if that is the case, don't worry, you can request a commissioned piece and get a painting you will love.

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Thank you for reading my contemporary art blog. Please take the opportunity to look at my collection of paintings in the online gallery. All of my paintings are original artworks on high-quality canvas frames. If you are interested in purchasing a specific painting, please get in touch to check current availability or to discuss a commission. Please contact me.

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