Oil Painting: Tim Kennedy's Painting Process


In the September 2006 issue of American Artist, Indiana artist Tim Kennedy explained how his figurative paintings have a connection to other artists, past and present. Here, the artist describes his painting process.

2005, oil, 72 x 60.
Courtesy Ruschman Art Gallery,
Indianapolis, Indiana.

I have a palette for my colors and a palette for mixing. Lately, as I set up, I might mix a number of tints using flake white on the mixing palette and work off those.

I paint on both linen and canvas. I use heavy-duty stretchers for canvases up to four or five feet, but I build stretchers for anything larger. I seal the surface with rabbit-skin glue sizing and a titanium oil primer from Williamsburg, which I apply with a knife.

I use a variety of brushes: bristle, nylon, and sable. Recently I have been using more soft brushes in the late stages of a painting. I probably use more rounds than other shapes. It is difficult to find soft brushes that hold up, and price seems to have nothing to do with the durability of a brush. I use a variety of palette knives.

The medium I use consistently is made from 1 part Venice turpentine, 2 parts sun-thickened or stand oil, and 2 parts damar varnish. As a medium, it can actually be a little sticky—which in some circumstances can be nice—but it can also be thinned further.

To read the feature article on this artist, check out the September 2006 issue of American Artist.


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One thought on “Oil Painting: Tim Kennedy's Painting Process

  1. Hello Tim!

    It was a pleasure running into your work again. I always liked your colors and sense of form. Glad to see you have found such a great niche in Indiana. This evening I went to see “A Prarie Home Companion” here in Taos, NM. One of the scenes reminded me of an Edward Hopper painting — the figures in the diner. I came home and found a copy of the painting in a book I have that belonged to Kay. The front is signed from you to Kay in 1976. And you know, I realized your work has a bit of Hopper in it. And so it goes. Drop me a line sometime if you like. I too have gone on to pursue painting. Alan