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
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.