Turpentine diaries 7/30/17

Sub Rosa, on the easel, is part of the Main Street series.  I’ve been using RGH’s ultra-fine flake white regularly, which can be seen in the middle of the palette.  I like it.  Last week, I used the last of a tube of flake white from Blue Ridge, which is also excellent paint.  I was…

Turpentine diaries 7/23/17

Break is finally done. I struggled with the surface from the beginning which resulted in more sessions than usual.  I won’t bore you with the details; the surface isn’t awful–it’s perfectly sound–but it’s not to my liking.  Not nearly smooth enough and like any rough-surfaced canvas, it eats brushes.  I like surfaces that are smooth and…

Turpentine diaries 7/16/17

I decided to work on my backlog of unfinished studies and small paintings. I worked on all of the paintings in the photo today, the bottom-left one last. One small study, not shown, has a problem and I’m trying to decide how to resolve it.  Before I work on a painting, I always wipe it with…

Turpentine diaries 7/9/17

Grand Army of the Republic Highway is part of a series called Main Street, which is about, well, Main Street in out town.  The town is a vacation destination and things happen downtown all of the time–festivals, street parties, concerts. I am adding pages to the site about my current series, Playhouse Square, and Main…

Turpentine diaries 7/8/17

I finished the small study at the top of this photo this morning.  Keith in Profile is on a 20″ x 24″ canvas board.  I sometimes use canvas board for studies and sketches.  Keith in Profile has been in-hand for awhile but today’s session was the fourth or fifth; fast for me. I put a fast-drying…

Turpentine diaries 7/6/17

My wife and youngest son are visiting the Jersey Shore and I miss them, so yesterday I took up Millie Talking to Her Friends.  The Millie in the painting is my wife’s grandmother.  Millie has been in-hand for some time but I’ve had just 3-4 sessions with it.  After working on Millie and several other…

Turpentine diaries 6/25/17

The Girl in the Lavender Dress, another painting in the Playhouse Square series, is nearly finished and today’s was only the sixth session, which is fast for me.  You can see in the right background two canvases that I recently prepared.  Both are 36″ x 48,” which is the same size as Girl in the Lavender…

Studio journal 6/18/17

I used RGH’s extra-fine flake white and viridian green in today’s sessions.  RGH sells both paints in jars, which I don’t like.  But both jars have remained fresh. I’ve had the viridian for some time and it’s still fresh. The pile of paint on the paper palette is a mixture of viridian and blue-gray.  I used it…

Studio journal 6/11/17

Good day after a bad day. I was so excited to get into the studio yesterday, I was mixing my medium at 5:30 AM. I make my medium fresh every day.  It’s very drying and if I prepare it beforehand, it’s too firm. But I do prepare one of the ingredients in advance–the varnish.  I…

Studio journal 6/4/17

I finished Euclid Avenue #1 (in the photo’s background) this morning and then worked on On the Square for the remainder of the day.  Both paintings are part of the Playhouse Square series. Both paintings are 48″ x 60″ and were prepared the same way.  However, On the Square’s surface is much poorer than Euclid’s…

Studio journal 6/2/17

After spending the morning drawing, I fully intended to finish Euclid Avenue #1, which I wrote about in the previous Studio journal post, and you can see it in the background of this photo.  Instead, I worked on Jane and Keith Aboard the Betty Jane. Both paintings are 48″ x 60.”   I plan to finish Euclid…

Studio journal 6/1/17

I was locked and loaded, ready to finish Euclid Avenue I this morning but I didn’t make it.  Maybe tomorrow, although I planned to spend tomorrow drawing on some new canvases. I am still using my recently-purchased ‘extra-fine flake white’ from RGH–you can see it in the middle of the palette.  I like it a…

Studio journal 5/21/17

I was able to spend time with this painting yesterday, working all over it. Girl in the Lavender Dress is based on a mash-up of several photos.  It’s part of the Playhouse Square. series. I also painted a small oil study yesterday.   I am using RGH’s “extra fine” flake white.  After two days, it handles well…

Goodbye, Old Holland

 Goodbye, Old Holland, I’m done with you. In my Oil Paint Brand Reference, I rated the Old Holland (OH) brand as top; best in breed among high-end brands.  Its dense pigmentation gives it unrivaled covering power and performance.  Funny thing though, I noticed that lately there are no OH paints on my palette.  Why?  Price.  Their…

Studio journal 5/7/17

I worked on these two paintings today before my daughter and I went to the marina to work on The Betty Jane.  The left-hand painting, The Delegate, is sailing along, to use a nautical allusion.  Two days ago, I lightly varnished it with my special varnish.  Now, the surface is really sweet and the colors no longer…

Studio journal 4/30/17

The unfinished Women in Sandals is part of the Playhouse Square series.  Women in Sandals is 44″ x 60.” Here is a painting tip: If you are struggling to get light in a painting, strengthen the darks.  You might be surprised at how making the darks darker makes muddy lights shine brightly.

Boating season soon

Even though the winter was mild, we are just now at the beginning of the boating season.  The Betty Jane is the middle boat in this photo.  It’s shrink-wrapped like its winter-storage neighbrors.  Shrink wrapping protects the boats during winter storage and, as you can see, it’s commonly done in marinas along Lake Erie in…

Studio journal 4/23/17

Here is today’s activity.  As usual, both paintings are unfinished.  Both are part of the Playhouse Square series. Lately, I’ve been using Utrecht’s flake white.  It performs decently and is decently priced too.  I actually like it better than Winsor Newton’s flake white.

Studio journal 4/22/17

I worked on The Picnic and nothing else for the past few days. The Picnic has a painting surface that is difficult.  This doesn’t happen often anymore but it’s annoying when it does happen.  It slows everything down.  Luckily, an intermediate varnish solved the problem and things are more to my liking and moving swiftly…

Studio journal 4/15/17

I spent the last two days hammering the armor on the middle-lower painting. (Painters will know what I mean.)  It’s not done but it’s getting there. The small painting is for me.  It’s a painting of my son John and I’ll never sell it.  It’s not finished either but I managed a good session with it…

Studio journal 4/9/17

The Press, the middle painting, is giving me trouble–the ground is, I mean.  It’s lifeless.  It’s one of two things, so I’ll soon know the cause.  It’s not too bad but it’s frustrating because things go so some much more smoothly when the ground is well behaved.      The ground isn’t the only thing…