materials

Turpentine diaries 3/31/19

I finished a couple of paintings during the past several days, including the one in the left-hand background of this photo. I also had my second session with the painting on the easel, Portrait of a Man in Sunglasses. Recently I’ve been using Doak’s flake white. Like everything from Doak it’s excellent paint.

Come on, RGH

I support the paint maker RGH by regularly buying their paint. RGH prices are drifting higher off their initial lows, but their paint is still among the best value on the market–decent stuff at affordable prices. One way RGS keeps prices down is by providing large sizes in jars. Unfortunately, jar-stored paints dry faster–much faster–than…

Baseline yourself

Regardless of where you are in your career, you will do well to establish a baseline for your oil-painting toolkit. The baseline provides a powerful framework that you can use to analyze materials and techniques. At some point in your journey, you begin to question the received wisdom that guided you at the outset. This…

Wrong again?

A reader said he tried sun-thickened oil on my recommendation but it didn’t demonstrate the handling quality that I’d claimed for it. Sun-thickened oil has the happy quality of maintaining body even when thinned, or so I claimed. My correspondent said his paint was rather more transparent than usual; he’d expected the opposite. First, as…

Turpentine diaries 2/10/19

I had good painting sessions with Fork. The painting is so large, 4.5 x 5.5 feet, that I started painting portions of it before I completed all parts of the drawing. Today I completed the drawing and pushed the under painting farther along. There are 12 figures in the narrow space and even though they’re…

Turpentine diaries 2/3/19

I finished these three paintings today. Yeah, that’s a lot for me. But all of them have been ‘almost’ done for some time. Paintings can represent problems to solve and after I solve them, if that doesn’t finish the painting, I set the painting aside. Either the solution didn’t solve the painting, or other paintings…

Murder on brushes

The first session with my new painting, Fork, mangled a new brush. Fork is a large painting, 54″ x 66″. Because it’s so large I am not transferring a cartoon to the canvas but drawing directly on the surface, as you can see in this detail. The lower third of the drawing isn’t actually finished…

Fat over lean

So you’ve embraced the two related studio aphorisms I discussed in this recent post: fat over lean, and make the lights thick but keep the darks thin. In practical terms what does this mean? Oil paint, tube paint, is stiff and unmalleable. Adding oils and solvents to the paint makes it manageable. But these additions…