Turpentine diaries

Scale again

Yesterday, I wrote about how scale affects paint handling. A figure on a 6-inch canvas is painted differently than the same figure on a 6-foot canvas. Pretty straightforward but a lot of artists get stuck in a ‘one size fits all’ approach. There’s also another way that scale determines my approach–figure scale. The main figures…

Proper scale

Scale plays a big part in how I handle a painting. By scale I mean the size of the canvas. A single figure on a 6-foot canvas requires a different treatment than the same figure would on a 6-inch canvas. I didn’t understand that early in my career, but as I worked on paintings up…

Why stop?

Sometimes when I draw, like in the oil sketch in the middle of this photo, I grab hold of things quickly and stop before the moment passes. Other times, I enjoy what I’m doing so much I don’t want to stop. Looking, seeing, and knowing on and on. SO WHY STOP? There is no end…

Alchemist’s alchemy

WHAT WAS THE SECRET OF THE OLD MASTERS? THE ALCHEMISTS KNEW…AND SO SHALL YOU! That bold claim was printed on the (hilarious) instruction sheet tied to the products sold by the Alchemist. The Alchemist no longer uses that hokey marketing gimmick directly, but that message still pervades their website. Claims to possess the secrets of…

Trekell fails

Lately, I’ve been spammed a lot by the independent brush manufacturer, Trekell. Oil paint is murder on sable brushes so Trekell’s decent quality sables coupled with modest prices led me to past purchases. I have over 20 of their brushes. I also like their linseed oil soap. Readers of my Brush review know that I…

Fall along the lake

Lake Erie keeps the Fall weather mild in NE Ohio. Halloween is often shirtsleeve weather here. New Jersey, where we lived before moving here, is always cold by this time. I remember freezing as I pulled the wagon with our costumed-children in it around the neighborhood. It was so bitter cold that we curtailed trick-or-treat…

Starting another painting

The drawing is transferred to the canvas for the new painting I’m calling The Entertainer. The Entertainer is 40″ x 50″. I applied the warm ground with a rag. I was careful to keep the ground thin so that the drawing shows through, as you can see in the photo. There are 12 figures in…

Goop nope

After talking with Robert Doak, I followed his recommendation and purchased some of his Painting Goop. I shouldn’t have. I normally stay away from thick painting mediums, but I enjoyed my far-ranging conversion, and everything I’ve purchased before was top-quality, I thought, “Why not?” Goop is thick, resembling toothpaste. When thinned with turp and worked…