Baseline yourself

Regardless of where you are in your career, you will do well to establish a baseline for your oil-painting toolkit. The baseline provides a powerful framework that you can use to analyze materials and techniques. At some point in your journey, you begin to question the received wisdom that guided you at the outset. This…

Wrong again?

A reader said he tried sun-thickened oil on my recommendation but it didn’t demonstrate the handling quality that I’d claimed for it. Sun-thickened oil has the happy quality of maintaining body even when thinned, or so I claimed. My correspondent said his paint was rather more transparent than usual; he’d expected the opposite. First, as…

Turpentine diaries 2/17/19

I finished the underpainting today for Portrait of a Man Wearing Sunglasses, my second session with the painting. The painting is 32″ x 48.” Simple composition. Unlike last week’s Fork, I transferred the design to the canvas with a cartoon. For Fork, because it’s so large, I drew directly on the canvas then inked over…

Turpentine diaries 2/10/19

I had good painting sessions with Fork. The painting is so large, 4.5 x 5.5 feet, that I started painting portions of it before I completed all parts of the drawing. Today I completed the drawing and pushed the under painting farther along. There are 12 figures in the narrow space and even though they’re…

Turpentine diaries 2/3/19

I finished these three paintings today. Yeah, that’s a lot for me. But all of them have been ‘almost’ done for some time. Paintings can represent problems to solve and after I solve them, if that doesn’t finish the painting, I set the painting aside. Either the solution didn’t solve the painting, or other paintings…

Murder on brushes

The first session with my new painting, Fork, mangled a new brush. Fork is a large painting, 54″ x 66″. Because it’s so large I am not transferring a cartoon to the canvas but drawing directly on the surface, as you can see in this detail. The lower third of the drawing isn’t actually finished…

White lake

Yesterday, Lake Erie exhibited the sluggishness that precedes freezing, and this morning we see the frozen tundra. The winds calmed but the wind chill is below zero. I am a little under the weather today–a good day to stay inside. I finished Keep Talking yesterday.

Turpentine diaries 1/20/2019

NE Ohio was pounded by a winter storm overnight. At noon, we–my wife, daughter, and me–braved the gusting winds and blowing snow to clear the driveway. We had to shovel through snow drifts just to get out the front door. We made short work of it, however. The snow blower my brother-in-law gave me works…