Painting Supplies

PSU Painting StudioWhere do I begin?

So you have decided you would like to try painting. You are somewhere on the spectrum of ability, either a professional, just wanting to touch up on basics, or a beginner who has never picked up a paint brush. Perhaps you just want to discover a world that appears to be magical, that until now has managed to elude you.

For everyone’s benefit, let’s start with the bare bones of supplies. What do you need to do this wondrous event/action of painting? Although I strongly believe that no matter what your budget, creating or painting can be within your grasp. But, let’s take a look at what would ideally be at your finger tips as an artist.

Choosing Your Medium – In choosing your medium you need to consider numerous things. The amount of time you wish to have your materials ‘workable’. Do you have children or pets that may come into contact with your supplies or work area? If you will be concerned that you’re 2 year old would like to see what your painting taste like? Do you wish to buy everything you need for less than $20, $100, $500 or perhaps $1000, or even $10,000? I was once told by a professor that money should not stand in the way of creation. In this instance she was happened to be a weaver. Her thought was that if she did not have the money for supplies of a loom and such, that she would still be able to weave with sticks found in the woods. Although art materials can be seen as expensive, there are materials for every size budget. Below you will find a brief description of some available painting supplies.

  • Sketchbook – This is a wonderful to have on hand at all times. It doesn’t have to be anything more than typing or copier paper in a folder to do its job. The idea is to have a place to draw, as ideas hit you. Or a place to play without worrying about the end results, as you might in a painting.
  • Resources – It is wonderful to have on hand 3 dimensional objects that have caught your eye in one way or another. They need not be expensive items. But can be garage sale finds, or interesting items found on a country stroll. The idea is to have things available to you to use as subjects for paintings that have an interesting feature, whether it is the items color, texture, shape, etc. Basic items such as interesting cups, saucers or rocks can become a good place to get ideas flowing, or subjects taken from a completed painting.
  • Watercolor – A wonderful transparent medium that is extremely transportable. This is surely the most popular of painting materials. From the pans of watercolors found in many a school child’s desk to the many tube watercolors on the market, there are a wide variety of prices and paint qualities to choose from. It is important that you have a good quality brush. Nothing can be more frustrating than using a cheap materials and finding the brush coming apart on your painting. If you just want to get your feet wet (no pun intended :0) perhaps trying a inexpensive student grade set of watercolors with a medium grade brush would be just the ticket? And don’t forget to also pick up some watercolor paper. Make sure to pick up something sturdy that will not warp when wet. You can learn to stretch watercolor paper later on. But for now let’s just see if this is the painting materials for you to try.
  • Acrylic – Acrylics are a wonderful diverse medium. They have the ability to be used thick from the tube or thinned in a watercolor technique. You can also add water to them and create different textures, such as sand, marble dust. If you want a medium that can be diluted with water, are versatile and are relatively non toxic, acrylics are for you. They can be painted on a wide variety of surfaces and are only limited by the artist imagination. Although general thought of as a quick drying material you can add substances to the paint that lengthen its working time. Be aware that many of the additives are highly toxic. It is recommended that you use a synthetic brush with acrylic paint. When using a palette it is best to use glass and not plastic, it is very easy for acrylic paint to dry on a palette quickly and it is almost impossible to get off of a natural porous surface. Whereas with glass the paint will simply peel away when dry. But take care when cleaning in a sink that you use the necessary precautions to not cause bodily harm should the glass break.
  • Gouache – (pronounced go-waush) Is a opaque water media that dries to a matte finish. They are often used by graphic designers due to their ability to create strong pigmented areas of color that transfer well to printed media. Not as popular with the general public as other painting material.
  • Oils – Often considered a more advanced material, finished oil paintings often bring more on the market than acrylic or watercolors. Although some of the materials used with oils can be toxic, they can be handled easily with a little education on how to do so. A lure of oils is the ability for them to stay workable for a longer period than water media. They usually are dry to the touch in 2-14 days. Expense usually runs similar to using acrylics. Generally are painted onto canvas or well primed surface. It is historically recommended to use a natural bristle brush with oil paint, although there are now much suitable man made products on the market that work very well. It is often recommended you use a wooden palette with oils, which builds up a wonderful patina after many uses.
  • Water Mixable Oil – These are fairly new on the market and offer a wide variety of color. Used alone they can be cleaned with soap and water. Or you can also use the traditional oil mediums along with them. If you follow the specific manufacturer’s recommendations you can use them along with oil paints.
  • Alkyds – a transparent oil color, these work well for glazing and are dry much quicker than the standard oil paints. It has been said by many artists, that they work well for plain air painters.
  • Oil Sticks – Are relatively new to the market and is oil paint, of sorts, in stick form. Are wonderful for use as a drawing medium and making expressive marks made on painting surfaces, work well with oil paints and can be used for drawing the composition out on canvas before oil paint is applied, for added finishing touches, or as a painting material all its own. They are available in a wide variety of colors from a variety of manufacturers.
  • Soft Pastel – Often mistakenly called chalks, these are a highly popular medium, both for its ability to remain workable indefinitely and its wonderful array of color. Tragacanth gum is used as a binder with the pigment to create a stick form that can be used to either paint or draw with. Used on a textured surface pastel, they can create a wide variety of affects. They do need to be framed under glass in order to prevent damage by elements. Many pastels painting that were created over a hundred years ago are still presented to the viewer with vibrant and fresh looking results. They can be purchased in a variety of hardness including in pencil form.
  • Oil Pastel – Similar to soft pastels, but with a binder that is oil based. A variety of affects can be achieved by using them. By using a brush dipped in mineral spirits you can create washes with the colors and manipulate them. It is not recommended you use oil pastels along with oil paints on the same painting.
  • Water Soluble Pencils/ Crayons – Available in a wide variety of qualities. They are wonderful for creating the initial drawing for a watercolor or acrylic, or adding details along the way to a finished painting.
  • Encaustic – Less popular than many other methods, using hot wax as a binder with pigment.
  • Tempera – Considered somewhere between an oil and a gouache paint. They contain both aqueous and nongaseous binding materials. (temperate – medieval Latin meaning blending or mixing)

Recently I worked on updating a price comparison list that I keep on hand for personal use. It includes oil painting materials from popular art suppliers such as Dick Blick, Utrecht, Jerry Artarama, Cheap Joes among a few others. Because I find this useful when ordering, I want to share this information with you. It is available in both a .xlsx (MS Excel includes comments related to product comparisons) and PDF file.

If you are already a subscriber we will be sending this to you shortly.

If you’re not – Get on the ball and subscribe today!

Click here to subscribe: http://eepurl.com/tuUtj

 

Recently I have been working on updating a price comparison list that I keep on hand for personal use. It includes prices from popular art suppliers such as Dick Blick, Utrecht, JerryArtarama, CheapJoes among a few others. Because I find this useful when ordering, I want to share it with you. It is available in both a .xlsx (MS Excel includes comments related to product comparisons) and PDF file.

If you are already a subscriber we will be sending this to you shortly. If you’re not – get on the ball and subscribe today!

Click here to subscribe: http://eepurl.com/tuUtj

*Note: This information focuses on painting in oils

OpaqueProjector

Vintage Monster!

Is it OK to use an opaque projector as a tool for creating representational art? It is ingrained in me to say “No”. Being able to draw and see as an artist is the basis of all fine artist. One does not want to skip past this important step. When I was first serious about learning to draw having an opaque projector was not an option, financially. For this I am thankful.

I posed this question on my facebook page(s) – Artist-How-To and Diane Dobson Barton. People proposed “Professional artist use one all the time.”, “It saves time.”,  “The master’s used similar devices for centuries.” The problem as I see it arises when an artist uses a projection without the necessary skills to make it work in the end. When it is used as a crutch rather than a tool.

I have also heard people say it “saves time”.  But if you can draw well, drawing is quicker.  If you can not draw well, one must reason that you can also not see well. Seeing well is the basis of creating all representational art.

Vintage Projector

Vintage Projector

One can drive a car with cruise control and an automatic transmission just fine. But if they never learn to steer they won’t get very far. I sincerely wish I could say knowing someone uses one does not ruffle my feathers and make red flags pop up in my mind. Maybe I am just too old school?

Artist palette color choice similar to Richard Schmid's

Artist palette color choice similar to Richard Schmid’s

Ever wonder where to begin with paint color choices? Looking to those that you admire is a good place to start. For a recent painting session I chose the colors similar to those of Richard Schmid

Left-to-right: Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Viridian, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Permanent, Cadmium Red, Trans Oxide Red, Yellow Ochre Pale, Burnt Umber, Titanium White

john-singer-sargent-lady-agnew

John Singer Sargent

Curious as to what other figure painters use/used?

Note: Intended as a guideline – Actual color will vary of course from brand to brand.

John Singer Sargent: Blanc d’Argent,Chrome Pale (A Yellow), transparent Golden Ochre, Chinese Vermillian, Venetian Red, Chrome Orange, Burnt Sienna, Garance Fronce’ (Rose Madder), Viridian, French Ultramarine Blue, Ivory Black, Cobalt Blue,

Nelson Shanks: Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Venetian Red, Crimson lake Deep (Old Holland), Permanent Rose (WN), Cad Red Deep, Cad Scarlet, Perinone Red (Gamblin), Perylene Red (Gamblin), Cad Orange, Raw Sienna, Indian Yellow (WN), Yellow Ochre, Cad Yellow, Cad Yellow Pale, Cad Green Pale, Cad Green, Viridian (WN), Pthalo Green, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt blue, Manganess Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Ivory Black, Flake White #2

Daniel Greene: Flake White, Ivory Black, Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Naples Yellow, Cad Yellow Med, Cad Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Sap Green, Thalo Green

Warren Chang: Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Cad Yellow, Cad Orange, Cad Red, Terra Rose, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Ivory Black

Kinstler: Cad Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Raw Sienna, Cad Yellow Light, Cerulean blue, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna Sienna, Burnt Umber, Sap Green, Titanium White

William McGregor Paxton: Ultramarine Blue, Viridian, Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow, Cad Yellow Light, Cad Red Light, Venetian Red, Indian Red, Alizarin Crimson, Raw Umber, Ivory Black, Titanium White

David Kassan: (Vasari Paints) Brilliant Yellow Light, Rosebud, Video Blue, Kings Blue, Cinnabar, Terre Verte, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Capucine Red Light, permanent Bright Red, Ruby Red, Scarlet Sienna, Red Umber, Burnt Umber, lamp Black, Flake White, Titanium-Zinc White

Basic Color Theory

The following information is intended as a basic understanding of color for the painter, general crafter or for the photographer.

Basic Color Wheel

Primary Colors – Red, Yellow and Blue are the basics of  color mixing. They can not be made on their own, but in theory you can make all the other colors on the color wheel

Secondary Colors – Violet, Green, and Orange are the colors that are created secondly by mixing the primary colors together.

Examples of  – Subtractive Color Theory  / Additive Color Theory

Subtractive Color – if you add its three primaries (Red, Green, Blue), the end result is white.

Additive Color – when the primaries cyan, magenta and yellow are mixed the end result is black. This is the color theory we are using here.

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Color Schemes


ComplementaryColors are opposite each other on the color wheel. For instance the compliment of Blue is Orange, the compliment of Red is Green etc.

Split Complementary is made by using a color and the two colors next to its compliment. Such as by using Red, and then using Yellow and Blue.

Triadic Color Schemes are made by any three colors that appear an equal distant from each other on the color wheel, such as Red, Yellow, and Blue.

Analogous Color Scheme is made by colors next to each other on the color wheel.

Monochromatic Color Scheme is made from one color or hue with multiple values and intensities.


Warm colors are colors that represent a feeling of warmth or heat such as Red, Orange, and Yellow.

Cool Colors are colors that represent a feeling of coolness and chill, such as blue, blue green and violet.

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Value Scale the amount of light and dark that is shown. The less value the lighter it is.

Contrast is the difference in values. The strongest contrast can be seen by placing the two extremes next to each other. When two lesser extremes are next to each other they are said to have low contrast. The closer they are in value, the lower they are in contrast.

Tints are created by adding White to a value. In the case of hand-coloring a print the white would generally be added by using the paper and having a transparent color wash.


Tones are created by adding Black to a value. In the case of hand-coloring the artist will either add a bit of black to the color or use the existing shades of grey already in the image.

j2500

“Wha?!” 8X10″ Oil on canvas – NFS

The above piece is a quick study I did the other day. Created from a photo that captured my attention.

My fourth of July will consist of the traditional food, fireworks, family and friends. This year it will be on a smaller scale since it falls on a Thursday.

I haven’t taken the week off.  But I guess I am giving myself a lot of leeway. As of the last two days I focused on painting and napping. Not necessarily in that order.  My husband is on vacation from his job this week.  So it is hear-by decided I can blame him for my lack of initiative!

Blogging Organization Notebook

Blogging Organization Notebook

In an ongoing effort to be organized and prepared, I have created a Blogging Notebook for myself. In case you are curious, and why wouldn’t you be curious? (Insert sarcastic expression here)

It includes the following:

  • 3 Pocket insert – 1. For goals (traffic and content, among other things) 2. Scrap paper/small notebook (thin moleskin type)/pen and highlighter. 3. Random notes in topic section
  • Monthly Calendar – Broad view of editorial plans.
  • Weekly Calendar – Break down of the week ahead.
  • To-Do Lists – Ongoing without any set time frame.
  • Topics – Outlines for series and notes for upcoming posts.
  • Blog Topic Forms – Helps me see I am meeting goals with each post.
  • Contests – Possible giveaways
  • Advertisements – Information on who, when, where and necessary steps.
  • SEO Information – Record of where I am and ideas on how to improve and get where I want.
  • Product Reviews – Ideas on upcoming reviews – once blog is better prepared.

For some people this may be overkill.  For me it is a place to start and see how it goes. :0) With it all in one place I can easily grab it as I am headed out the door.

jsunglasses500

“Sunshine” 9X12″ Oil on Canvas – NFS

So this past week I have been focusing on creating a better schedule for blog posts, gathering and organizing my blog information, and of course painting. This includes taking an online course on blogging at Blogelina.  I signed up on a lark and didn’t have high expectations, but have been pleasantly impressed.  I am someone that has read all of the ProBlogger books and thought I knew what I was doing. The online course has been a eye opener.

I am still creating paintings for a show at the Bowlus in October, while also working on a book proposal.  I also came to the conclusion I was trying to juggle too many things at once. So the frame of mind here of late has been to simplify. No more following that distraction of seeing something shiny!

Some of you know I am a knitter. But, knitting has taken a back seat. For now.

How do you stay on task? Are you a list maker and scheduler? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

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