Category: materials

Bad craftsmen–a cautionary tale

One of my pet peeves is subpar or crappy material marketed to artists at boutique prices. I will swallow hard and pay premium prices for premium material, but too often I end up paying top-dollar for unusable junk. The art supply market is chockablock will hucksters, con artists, and amateurs.  Many producers simply do not know…

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Tom Hudson

I spent the past the several days drawing. Yesterday I started drawing on 2 new canvases: Euclid Avenue (48″ x 60″), and Sunday (42″ x 56″). The day before, I started the 40″ x 50″ Girl in Purple Boots. This furious drawing is, in part, the result of a screw-up. Several days back I started another 42″ x 56″ canvas called Watch. But it was a struggle. The surface wasn’t right–it wasn’t coming together. The next day, hoping that a fresh start would rectify things, was just as bad. Then it dawned on me: I selected the wrong-sized canvas. I was unsuccessfully trying to shoehorn my worked-out design into the wrong size and scale. No wonder it wasn’t coming together.  The design was intended for a 48″ x 60″ canvas. Duh.

I played with redesigning it but didn’t like the results. So I wiped off the drawing and put another ground on the canvas–I didn’t like the surface anyway. Although I really like the design for Watch, I decided to put it aside for awhile, and used the larger canvas for Euclid Avenue instead. I am putting the finishing touches on several other 48″ x 60″ canvases today and Watch will have to wait until those surfaces are ready.

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Tom Hudson

I use burnt sienna as the basis of my flesh tones, so I use a lot of burnt sienna. My favorite brand for this color is Natural Pigments’ French Burnt Sienna. Some burnt siennas are too red, like Winsor Newton’s.  Old Holland’s is excellent–both light and dark. But Natural Pigments’ is just right: not too red, not too dark–just right.

In the studio 9/21/14

I had several sessions with this painting, Dinner in Trenton, over the past few days. It was the first opportunity to use my new Terkell flats; first-rate brushes–and affordability priced. How many more sessions? Hard to say. Working on a large painting (Dinner in Trenton is 42″ x 56″) is a series of calculations.  It’s easy to make…

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Tom Hudson

Winsor Newton has become my choice for mid-range oil paint, supplanting RGH. While not Old Holland, W & N’s quality is consistently high, and I prefer some of their colors over all competing brands, such as madder lake and cadmium scarlet. I like RGH’s cold-pressed, lead-based whites but their tubes are cheap and prone to break and leak. This is a serious problem for large-size tubes.