materials

Ugh

I’ve been using flake white from Utrecht a lot. Lately, I’ve run into the same problem, namely, tubes with excessive oil content. When I open a fresh tube, a lake of oil pours out. That is what happened with the last tube I opened. You can see what I mean in this photo. I placed…

Twin peeks

Making multiple versions of a painting is an interesting exercise. The intent isn’t to produce copies, but, rather, to create variations on a theme. It is especially useful for students. I prepared the drawing for this watercolor with the expectation that my assistant could use it as an exercise. I made the drawing on pastel…

Don’t go to art school

Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal, likes to say that degrees from the nonprestigious schools are just expensive dunce caps. He means that today higher education is close to worthless, except that degrees from the top schools still get you interviews. I think he’s right. Don’t go to college unless you’re in the right STEM…

White siccative

I’ve written plenty of times about my medium. My medium is perfect for me but there are some corner cases. The medium is darkish and for the high-key colors, it can be too strong. White siccative is not found in the literature as much as the dark variety that I am used to, siccative Courtrai.…

My easel is not worthless

I wrote glowingly about the Utrecht easel that I purchased. I said that it was a great bargain–an under-$300 medium-duty easel. But soon a support broke and the mechanism to lower and raise the tray support was frustratingly difficult to use. My praise transformed to scorn. I repaired the broken support with glue and a…

Odd day

I was in the studio at 6:00 AM to prepare my palette. I had to scrape-down the entire surface. Most mornings I take a pause to gather my thoughts before starting to paint, but yesterday I plunged right in. I couldn’t wait to pick up the brush. Things were going great when I put down…

In the kitchen

For the most part, I’ve stopped showing the early stages of my paintings. One thing that I’ve learned after running this site for 8 years is that readers assume that I only post finished work–the opposite of what I actually do. But one of the reasons for this blog is pedagogical. I like sharing information…

Watercolors yes

I was a little rusty with watercolors when I started this painting. It’s good-quality paper but I forgot to dampen it before I started. Duh. I finally got it going and finished it quickly (for me–2 sessions). I plan a series of small (9″ x 12″) watercolors like this one. The goal is to keep…