Shop Talk

Discuss the nuts and bolts of creating art

St. Charles’ good book

Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters by Sir Charles Eastlake is the best resource–by far–for information about painting methods and materials. Just like the title states. The older studio traditions had already faded into the past when Sir Charles published the first volume in 1847, so the book is a…

Robert Doak

I was marveling about how good the sun-thickened oil is that I got from Robert Doak. Like everything I’ve ever purchased from him, the quality is excellent. I’m not out of the sun-thickened oil yet but I only have a half-bottle left. I hate to run out of supplies and I tend to stockpile them,…

I think no, I mean yes

…but it’s all wrong… So the song goes. This is a painting that I turned to the wall for a long time as I tried to work out what was bothering me about it. I do this frequently when I hit a wall. I put the painting aside and think about it. Sometimes solutions come…

Turpentine diaries 7/21/19

The first day painting on a new design is always exiting. True, paintings almost never live up to the vision in my mind’s eye, but I start every new painting with the same anticipation. I can’t wait to get started! This photo shows The Green Umbrella after a four-hour painting session. There’s a long way…

Turpentine diaries 7/14/19

In recent days I’ve spent time preparing new paintings, that is, drawing and finishing designs. However, I did spend some time actually painting. I had several sessions with my most recent painting, Lens. Most objects come alive under the brush by using the complement of its primary color in the half-tones–the areas between the higher…

Turpentine diaries 6/16/19

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to watch me paint but–believe it or not–I get asked to do session videos with some frequency. So I taped some of my session with Directions. Directions is my newest painting and it’s still raw but, hopefully, viewers will find the video useful. I’ll post the video as…

Turpentine diaries 5/5/19

I had 2 more sessions with Troopers. That’s 7 sessions. Am I half-way through (12 sessions is par for me for paintings of this size)? I think so, yeah. I used some of my homemade drying oil in today’s session. I recorded a video review of Rublev’s sun-thickened oil in which I compared it to…

Turpentine diaries 4/20/19

This photo shows my new painting, Troopers, after 4 sessions. I’ve covered the canvas with paint, and now I’m putting it aside to dry. I typically need 12 sessions to finish a painting of this size. I am in a fury of work. I’m finishing the designs for four canvases similarly-sized, and starting the drawings…