Coming soon ~ ‘How to set-up a Shabby Chic Oil Painting Studio for the DIY Artist!’

Good morning! I love waking up to Montana’s happy face on my easel, I can’t help but smile back at him :- ) After a stationary bike ride, with a beautiful view overlooking the woods, breakfast and shower, I’ll be back in my studio completing Montana.

Last May, we moved out of a large three bedroom house and into a cabin in the woods. I love it here, it’s so peaceful and serene. I love walking in the woods. The Tall trees are so majestic, standing silently I’m embraced by their energy and I feel so tiny in the enormity of it all. Yet I know it is us who create our reality. We are so incredibly powerful, yet we know nothing of ourselves and how to utilize our powers for the good of the whole.

Marc built me a beautiful studio with a skylight right above my head. About 80% of the entire studio was built using recycled materials. Mostly with large windows. He paneled the walls with recycled fence boards and used them for the floors also. All my studio equipment was custom made with recycled materials, my palette table, my easel and my computer desk. All customized for my needs. I’m going to write a new article on ‘How to set-up a Shabby Chic Oil Painting Studio for the DIY Artist’ with new pictures of my studio with how to build a very functional easel with a slider, that takes up minimal space. How to build a palette table and many more Studio Hacks. I just have a few finishing touches to do and I’ll be ready to share how we did it. Coming soon!

Have a wonderfully Productive day!

Naomi

 

 

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painting in the garden

Peonies and tea

 

 

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Soon my canvases will be overflowing with summer blooms…

Wow, I cant believe I have taken so long to get back to my blog! January since my last post. I have since moved into a new place, a new studio. I’m still unpacking and organizing. Summer is finally on the horizon and my veggie and flower garden has been an important priority as I prefer self sufficiency. I’m also growing my subject matter. Organized my studio and soon my canvases will be overflowing with summer blooms, so exciting!  Pictures coming soon…

Studio Image

Studio Image

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 Article I give you the basics of setting up your studio, how to make your own easel and how to organize your space. I cover the paints and brushes and mediums I use.

To learn more about Oil Painting, I have 10 half hour video series on how to paint a portrait Get your Free Portrait Painting video series here!

I posted a short one minute video on how to mix a fleshtone for a portrait and that Video can be found HERE

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Hope you enjoy the article and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

photo 3 (2)

Studio

This is a basic set-up with a north facing window. I bought this easel for under $250. I added the wheels so I can easilly move it around. A table for my palette and brushes. In this set-up, extra lighting is not really necessary. Some aren’t so lucky and need some kind of lighting set up to paint.

Lighting

lighting skylight

Lighting is everything. I assure you, I have researched this subject thoroughly. I have tried Every type of lighting on the market. Some Artists are fortunate enough to have a north facing window, this would be an ideal lighting condition, However, some aren’t so lucky. The alternative, 5000k natural daylight. This is inexpensive and I’ve seen all sorts of companies trying to pass off studio lighting for way too much money. I was able to get mine at a fraction of the cost. I am fortunate enough to have a skylight in my studio, however on dark cloudy wintery days, I switch on my panel light, it’s like a skylight without a skylight. It’s best to mount it as high as possible at a 35% angle to prevent glare.

The reason for the 5000k light, is it is the truest light form you can paint to. The colors on your palette and on your canvas remain true. Anything else would be too yellow or orange or blue and can alter the illusion of color and you will end up with a painting that can’t be viewed in any other lighting. If you show your work in an outdoors show, your colors would be off, guaranteed, been there, got the T-shirt. I use this light, it’s pure white, neither yellow nor blue.

lighting

Easel…

Although I love my floor easel, I also designed and made my own wall mounted easel with a slider. You’re welcome to copy my design. I also mounted a stick at the top of my easel on which to rest my hand. If you have a floor easel on casters, I suggest you place it on a rubber mat so it doesn’t move.

Shabbychicstudioeasel attachment

Chest of Drawers…

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

Studio setup

In the top drawer I have placed my colors in a row all along the width of the drawer. This way I can easily find the colors I need. The next drawer down I keep paper towels, rags etc. Next I keep paperwork, receipts, notes and drawing pads.

Palette, brushes, paints and mediums

wall mounted palette

I mounted my palette onto the wall next to my easel. then I mounted a piece of glass I tinted with burnt umber and white.  Here’s an article I wrote on how to tint your palette.  How to tint your palette and why you should

Brushes, I use Mightlon, they’re great brushes for an affordable price.  They hold their shape beautifully and last longer.
Oils, I’m fussy, I love Old Holland classic oils, high quality, the best I can afford. Feels good to work with, smooth and never disappointing.

Mediums. I can’t handle the smell Turpentine. Which means I can’t use Damar crystals. Too hard on the lungs for me, being asthmatic doesn’t help. FYI, Damar crystals do not dissolve in odorless turpentine or Gamsol.
For medium I use Walnut oil and Stand oil and Gamsol’s odorless mineral spirits. It takes a while for Stand oil to dissolve in oms, so give it a week or so to dissolve. Stir, never shake.

Paper towel and clean-up.

I prefer to use paper towel instead of rags to clean my brushes and for turpentine use. This way I can discard the paper-towel and not have turpentine soaked rags under my nose. I also find that the cheapest brand or even recycled paper towel is best. No lint. Avoid the big fluffy rolls of paper towel.

Even though one can’t smell the odorless Mineral spirits, it is still a chemical and is still dangerous. I paint and handle all chemicals and oils with disposable gloves.
A fan is really needed, always have the fan on when using chemicals and a window open is ideal. Vacuum and clean your studio often to rid of dust. Nothing worse than dust and animal hair on your freshly primed canvases or freshly glazed painting.

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

Good luck with setting up your studio and happy painting :- )

For those of you who are learning how to paint in oils… Get your Free Portrait Painting video series here!

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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.