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Monday, December 9, 2013

More Discoveries

It's time to talk about new discoveries, my favorite blogging topic. I'm happy to share some of my latest finds & strategies for the painting process. Hope they help!

1. Painting Surface 
After a long search, I've FINALLY found several painting surfaces that I seem to get along with. Ever since I began painting, most of the time I felt as if I were fighting against the surface. I'm sure it had everything to do with the fact I wasn't buying very good quality. This past year I decided hmm, maybe I would get better results if I chose better canvases. As an aside, because I'm working on better quality (costly) surfaces I tend to spend much more time in the planning stages before I commit brush to canvas.  I guess I should've been doing that all along :)

These are the surfaces I'm loving:

Raphael Premium Archival Oil Primed Linen Panels.

Passages, Oil, 16 x 20 Raphael Archival Oil Primed Linen Panel

Holy Cow I'm impressed with these panels. I like to blend, as well as scumble and glaze, and the surface of these panels is just a dream to employ these kind of techniques.  Panels, as opposed to stretched, are nice to use as the issue of bounce is completely nonexistent. At 3/8" thickness, the panels are easy to frame, especially if you select standard sizes to work on.

Centurion OP DLX Oil Primed 
The Centurion Oil Primed Linen boards are also very nice to work on. They seem to have more of a texture than the Raphael. These boards receive thick applications of paint nicely, although you can still achieve fine detail if desired.

Morning Ride, Oil, 9 x 12 Centurion Linen Panel
Pin Cushion, 4 x 6 

2. Make-up wedges for paint application. Huh? Yup, sometimes I use these little guys to smooth large areas of paint I've applied with a brush if I need a really smooth finish. They also are very handy when applying varnish. I keep a bag handy ALWAYS.

In the painting below, I used makeup wedges for the achieving a super smooth, blended background  and the area below the shelf top. Sometimes you want a textured effect, but sometimes you want it smooth and void of brush strokes. Makeup sponges can be the answer, and a cheap one at that.

3. Viridian Green Viridian Green cools skin tone mixtures beautifully. I could do a commercial for Viridian Green - definitely have a tube (and you don't need to use much) when mixing your skin mixtures.

4. Payne's Gray I love Payne's gray! It is a very translucent, almost blue black. Great for gray colored eyes, or glazing. I really like adding alizarin crimson to this for dark backgrounds to achieve a rich but still thin background.

5. A Trusty Notebook Designated for Your Paintings & How You Achieved Them. Oh my gosh, the older I get the more I can't remember anything. Especially that brown I achieved by mixing this that and the other thing. For some time now, every time I begin a painting, I create a log of particular mixtures and other relevant notes. I usually add a little dab of whatever color I've created, put a little plastic wrap over it so it doesn't smear the pages when I close the book. I HIGHLY recommend this practice.  Be especially disciplined about noting mixtures of large areas of your paintings (example, the yellow I achieved in the gum ball machine painting above). I had to do a second pass here and there on that yellow area and I can't tell you how easy it was when I just looked up my recipe. As I paint each particular piece, I have the notebook open, pen nearby. I make sure the notebook super easy to get to or I won't take the time to make the notes I should.