Tips and Studies

Homemade-drying walnut oil

I wrote before about the drying linseed oil I prepared. I decided to continue my investigations by preparing some drying walnut oil, the results of which you can see in the accompanying photograph. The walnut oil is clearer than the linseed oil and has the same excellent handling qualities. How did I prepare it? I…

Finished? Not finished? Finished? Not finished?

How do you know when a painting is finished?Many artists have trouble determining when a painting is finished. It can be excruciatingly painful to let a painting go, especially after you worked on it for a long time. If like me, you focus on problems as you work, it can be easy to fixate on…

Homemade drying oil

Homemade drying oil.The crude container that I made with a lead sheet contains 16 oz. of cold-pressed walnut oil. I’ll leave the oil in the container for several months before straining it into a jar, like the one in the upper-left of the photo. The lead imparts drying qualities to the oil making it excellent…

Turpentine diaries 5/27/18

The Woman in Red Pants is not over-large so I finished the underpainting, shown here, in 2 sessions. The Woman in Red Pants is 36″ x 48.”  We live in a great time when information about nearly every subject is at-hand, right?  Create a battery?  Create an electric motor?  Build a house?  There is also…

Preparing a canvas surface for oil painting

This is a companion to my canvas stretching post. After you stretch a perfectly taut and square canvas, you’re ready to prepare the surface. Our goal is threefold: protect the canvas protect the paint create a perfect surface  Why do we have to protect the canvas?  Oil is acidic, so if you paint directly on…

Stretching canvas

While it’s true that I didn’t learn anything about painting at art school, it isn’t true that I didn’t learn anything at all.  I learned a lot about printmaking, and I learned how to stretch canvases. That canvas-stretching skill has stood me in good stead.  I can’t think of a single instance when the technique…

Painting nuts and bolts

My homemade palette has provided good service for several years. It has enough room to muck about in, but it’s not so large that it’s difficult to move or clean.  I converted the glass-framed reproduction I found at a secondhand shop into an everyday palette by removing the print and then painting the backing a middle…

Wonderful sun-thickened oil

I’ve written about my everyday-medium plenty of times.  I frequently modify my medium for certain situations.  Sometimes, for example, I add a little Venice turpentine to the regular turpentine I use in my medium.  I add a very small amount of the sticky Venice turpentine to the medium. Other times, I add a small amount of sun-thickened…