The trumpeter on my easel….

Well now that the show is over, back to my studio to complete the trumpeter and many others stacked up waiting for completion. I’m going to begin with the trumpeter. I had seen him playing his trumpet at an anti-pipeline demonstration on the grounds of the parliament building in Victoria. I began the underpainting some time ago and finally got him on my easel and worked on it enough to show at the opening of my show. The underpainting was done  in Raw umber. trumpeter underpainting So here I painted the background with Raw umber plus Flake white replacement. I then painted in his face using Flake white replacement,  Transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue, Chromium oxide green and Venetian red. (Indian red would be a good replacement if you cant find Venetian red.) Always think Complimentary colours when painting flesh tones. If the intensity of the reds are too strong, lower them with green and visa versa. trumpeter progress1 Here I painted in Ian’s hands and his sweater. I cant remember what colour green I used for the sweater, but I think it may be a combination of Viridian green, Transparent red oxide (it’s complimentary) and white. I always make sure I leave some of my underpainting showing through so that it can optically mix with the colours I paint over it. The jar on the left is my favorite painting medium, stand oil, walnut oil and Gambin turpentine. The jar on the right is Gamsol odourless turpentine. trumpeter progress2 Here I began painting in the trumpet,  still much to do, I used a combo of Gamblin’s Flake white replacement, Yellow ochre, Lemon yellow and Raw umber. Note that the colour of his flesh is reflected in his trumpet. I was fortunate enough to have located Ian through a chance meeting with a friend of his. lucky me, hoping Ian would be so kind as to pose for the rest of the painting 🙂 more to come…..

How to set-up an Oil Painting Studio…

Setting up an Oil painter’s studio can be a costly affair. It doesn’t have to be. In this post, I give you the basics of setting up your studio, I cover the paints and brushes and mediums I use.

Studio2

I use a wall easel instead of a regular easel and this frees up floor space. This means I can work on many paintings at a time and also have somewhere to hang them while they are dying. The wall easel slats are cut at an angle so I can hang my painting panels. I also made sure that they are perfectly level.

IMG_1083

IMG_1082

IMG_1080

I cut some wooden blocks shaped at an angle and I attached them to the back of my panel. Just make sure the screws are short and don’t pierce into our painting.

Please Note: The links I have provided are not affiliate links. They are products I love to use.

Lighting: For lighting I use flicker-free 4700k LED’s,  high quality lighting.  What is so awesome about these lights is it uses very little power and you can paint any time day or night and the light remains consistent and with a high Color Rendering Index. This makes a huge difference in the quality of the light. You can accurately mix colors and paint with confidence.  Here is some info about their flicker-free light bulbs

I had an electrician create a circuit of 10 lights for me. I made a sheer cover to mute the light somewhat to prevent glare. I include a couple of clip on lamps for extra lighting if needed.

IMG_1075

A Chest of Drawers is handy…This is ideal for placing your computer monitor, your brushes and jars of turpentine/medium, whatever you use.

Studio setup

In the top drawer you can place your tubes of colors in a row all along the width of the drawer. This way you can easily find the colors you need. The next drawer down you could keep paper towels, rags etc. And in the bottom drawer you could store drawing pads and small painting panels.

Palette, brushes, paints and mediums

I use a cart for my palette and to hang my paints. I attached some wheels so it can easily be moved. I had some glass cut to fit the top perfectly. I tinted my palette with a mix of burnt umber, raw umber and a dash of cadmium orange. I added the orange to counter the blue-green tint of the glass. I used a fast drying white and the umber dry super fast too. It was dry the next day.

When you flip it over, it turns a beautiful gray. This way,  you can judge your colors and values more accurately. No surprises when you mix a color with a particular value, you know it’s going to appear the same value on your canvas. If your palette is white and you paint on a tinted canvas, your values won’t be the same as what you mixed. Always keep this in mind.

IMG_1069

Studio cart

Brushes : I use Rosemary and co Brushes, the best so far. They are amazing to paint with. The Classics are perfect for laying down paint and the Eclipse flats, filberts and rounds are my favorite and are amazing for smoother passages, and for painting flesh. The Masters choice long flats make great softeners and are ideal for sky and clouds.

Rosemary and co brushes

Mediums:. I use Natural Pigment’s Oleogel and I love how it handles. It’s easy to use, no mess, no fuss and is solvent free.

I highly recommend Natural Pigments for those who want to use quality oils. Their Rublev oil colors are absolutely fantastic to work with. They are handmade using traditional pigments.

Rublev.jpg

Substrate and Grounds: I paint on wood braced  panels I make myself. Size the panel first before applying an Alkyd Lead oil ground. If you do use an acrylic primer, I recommend Liquitex. Just make sure you leave your panels to dry for a month as it takes that long for the water in the primer to evaporate. Otherwise, if you paint on the panel before it’s had time to evaporate, can cause problems.

I don’t recommend painting on stretched canvas. If you do, be sure to size your canvas first BEFORE you paint. I recommend use GAC 100 to seal your canvas.

Paper towel and clean-up… I prefer to use paper towel instead of rags to clean my brushes. I also find that the cheapest brand or even recycled paper towel is best. No lint. Avoid the big fluffy rolls of paper towel. I really like the blue shop towels, they are quite durable.

You can either use odorless mineral spirits or use walnut oil as a brush dip to clean your brushes. Just wipe off the excess paint and dip my brush into walnut oil, don’t swish your brush, just dip it and work it into a paper towel.

My favorite brush cleaner is Murphy’s Soap. I can’t live without it. The best ever! It will even clean off hardened stiff brushes, it’s amazing and totally Non-toxic!

IMPORTANT: Make sure you rinse your brushes off thoroughly with water to remove ALL traces of soap.

There you have it, I hope you found some of my ideas helpful! Best of luck setting up your studio!

Happy painting 😉

Save

Save

Grateful for another day to paint…

It’s Thursday morning – I’m sitting in front of my easel contemplating my day’s work. I had hoped to complete this painting of Amanda’s tea party by the end of Friday. I’m so glad I painted the rest of her skin last night before bed. I stood here, midnight, still some mixtures of flesh paint on my palette. I didnt want to waste it, so I bit the bullet, eyes heavy, and painted her arms and hands.  And now….. I’m a happy girl 🙂 Let’s see if I can make my deadline.

I spent some time taking stock of where I’m at and where I’m heading. I’m happy with my progress, although I feel I should be spending a couple more hours a day painting. I do tend to get side tracked. I should be more disciplined. I do tire so easily working on the same piece for too long. So I decided to set up another easel and complete incomplete paintings to break up the monotony. Now to scrape my palette, mix some more paint and then enjoy some yummy java,  hippie style 😉

Greatness requires enormous time…

I’m making some progress here with Emma paying her Cello, not too long now, hoping for under a week. This painting has certainly challenged me in every direction and then some. If ur drawing skills are not spot on, ur in trouble. I highly recommend practicing often, daily in fact. Greatness requires enormous time. Based on a study by Anders Ericsson, it takes 10 000 hours to perfect ones craft. That’s 20 hrs a week of practice for ten years. There are no shortcuts. U gotta put the time in. Find the work of a master painter and emulate him/her. Study their technique, look at edges, light, reflective light, the colors they use. There is so much to learn. Undeniable talent equals countess hours of practice. There’s no mistaking it. There’s no faking it. Put ur arrogance away and humble urself. Immerse urself in study and practice. Once u have learned to control ur arrogance, then u will grow as a painter and as a person.

I still have a ways to go yet…years of practice. Diligence.

%d bloggers like this: