Tom Hudson

Glowing lights

I have several themes in mind for today’s post. One theme is about varnish–intermediate varnish. An intermediate varnish is used to seal the surface and prevent subsequent paint layers from sinking into the earlier layers. This “sinking in” robs the colors of their light and life. Since I paint in layers, I use intermediate varnishes…

Those who live in glass houses…

…or use glass palettes. I get a lot of questions about my homemade palette. I’ve been using this palette for several years and by now it’s pretty beat-up. In fact, I attempted to replace it recently but the replacement’s glass cracked before I could use it. What is it? It was a glass-framed reproduction that…

Painting in the time of pandemic

We painters are lucky. We already self-isolate when we paint, so when the pandemic s**t hits the fan, we can continue painting and just carry-on as usual. Last week I ordered some oils from RGH, and today it was delivered to my porch. No delays; business as usual. This was a small order–a tube of…

Not all synthetic brushes are awful

I heap abuse on synthetic brushes. But some synthetics are not too bad–for oils. I haven’t found any synthetics that can replace sables for watercolor painting. Not even close. These synthetic rounds from Winsor and Newton are OK. Monarch brushes are made from “synthetic mongoose fibers,” whatever that might be. Winsor Newton claims that they…

Maulsticks

When my daughter was very young, with a very serious face she asked, “Daddy, why do you hold a big stick in your studio?” To a child, the most question-provoking thing about the studio was my homemade maulstick. You can see my maulstick in this photograph. It’s resting against a 40″ x 52″ painting (the…

Bristle brushes

Even though I sometimes disparage bristle brushes, I use them all the time. I use them for medium or broad passages–not for finer areas. Like most students, I was taught that real painters used bristles (‘hogs’), and the bigger the better. Of course, this only led to frustration on those times when I worked on…

Good flake white

Utrecht flak white continues to surprise me with its good performance. Considering its modest price, it’s a good value. I am using it throughout this painting titled The Fair. It covers well and handles crisply. When thinned it retains strong covering strength. An excellent flake white. I ordered another tube this morning. I’ve just started…