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RGH vs Utrecht

A reader asks wether I prefer Utrecht flake white or RGH’s. To answer the question directly: I prefer Utrecht (barely). Utrecht covers better and has more body. To demonstrate this, I share a simple side-by-side comparison. (Note: I currently have some of RGH’s extra fine white. The extra-fine paint is ground in safflower oil, which…

Retouch varnish

When you work on an oil painting over an extended period, colors sometimes become dull. The upper paint layers merge with an earlier layers. This process is called sinking in. If the problem isn’t corrected, it gets worse as the painting progresses. A final varnish can mitigate the bad effects of sinking in, but how…

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…

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…

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 5/12/19

As much as I whine and moan about this or that, I’m not the hot-house plant that I may appear. And sometimes my paintings go well! (Although, I won’t say that too loudly or I’ll jinx it, amirite?) Troopers, after 8-9 sessions is basically painting itself. I could close my eyes and just pitch in…