I’m in Daaawg heaven! Oil painting demo… How to paint a Dog…

I was looking for an article I had written when I came across this demo I did a while ago and thought I would share it with you again. This time I have it step by step so you can follow the progress.

Here’s a photo of Montana, I love his beautiful smile! I used some artistic license to create a playful element and a pleasing composition.

I began with a 11″ x 14″ canvas I primed with 3 coats of Gesso and sanding lightly when completely dry. Not too smooth as you want to have some tooth for the paint to adhere to.

Montana On my easel

Next, I tinted the canvas with burnt umber thinned with oms, applying it with a brush.

Burnt Umber paletteTinting my canvas

Then smooth it off with a neatly folded rag. If you bunch up your rag, it will leave marks on your canvas.

Smoothing it out

Next I drew in Montana with a brush and Burnt Umber thinned with very little oms. Stay as dry as possible.

Drawing of Montana

Once drawn in, I begin filling in all the darks with a mix of Burnt umber and Ultramarine blue thinned with a little oms, still being careful not to over-saturate your paint with oms.

Adding darks

I mixed Ultramarine blue with a dash of transparent red oxide, plus white for the blue skies and for the clouds, I mixed some white with a grey I made with transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue. For the lights I mixed white with transparent red oxide and a tiny dash of Ultramarine blue.

Montanas palette1

The colors I’m using for this painting are; Transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, Ultramarine blue, Burnt umber, Titanium white Alizarin and cadmium red.

Once I had laid in my darks, I filled the background with blue skies and clouds, placing Montana on the beach, his favorite place to be.

Blue skies

I painted in the yellowy brown colors above and below Montana’s eyes. I mixed Transparent red oxide with yellow ochre. To darken the mixture I added some burnt umber.

Montanas progress1

I then added the blue grey markings on his forehead and nose and blended the fur with the white color which is Titanium white with a dash of transparent red oxide and tiny dash of ultramarine blue and grey.

Montanas progress2

I then painted Montana’s eyes with Transparent red oxide, a dash of blue and burnt umber. Next, for his tongue, I mixed a dash of cadmium red, grey, alizarin and white with a teeny dash of yellow ochre and white. The grey I refer to is a mix of transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress3

Next I painted in Montana’s teeth with some transparent red oxide, a dash of yellow ochre and white.

I premixed my greys. Actually I always premix all my colors, it’s much easier in the long run even though it takes quite a bit of time preparing my colors, it still saves me time and hassle in the end. For the browns in the fur I mixed together some transparent red oxide with yellow ochre and a dash of burnt umber.

Montanas progress4

I mixed some titanium white, a tiny bit of transparent red oxide and a tiny dash ultramarine blue and a tiny dash of yellow ochre for the white fur; to which I ad a dash of gray made up of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. It’s a little tricky working the dark and the light fur without greying the black. I used a clean brush with every stroke from black into the white fur so that I didn’t grey any of the black fur. I left little bits of the underpainting showing through and that warms it up from the inside out.

Hope you enjoyed the progress picks and how I develop a painting.

Montanacompleted

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Plein Air Painting – I know how easy it is to lose control of ones palette……..

I woke up the other morning, craving fresh air. I’ve held myself hostage indoors for way too long. It was time to get out and  do something exciting for a change. Marc worked on my easel while I prepped my canvas, mixed colors and readied myself for Plein air painting. After bundling up, we head out into our yard and set up my easel next to the creek. I’ve been wanting to paint this little creek since we moved here.

plein-air-at-the-creek1

I had the most amazing experience. Yes my fingers were red from the cold, but it was soooo worth it! I went out again yesterday and today and it was really warm out. This afternoon I set up my easel right on the waters edge and thoroughly enjoyed painting in glorious sunlight all afternoon. I’m so looking forward to spring!

plein-air-at-the-creek2

One thing for sure, is next time I plein air paint, I’m going to go fully prepared!

I know how easy it is to lose control of ones palette…..

In fact I had this experience yesterday, I should have filmed it to demonstrate how to lose control of ones palette, hahaha!

Experience taught me to always pre-mix base colors at home and adjust them as necessary later, so you can get to painting and not spend an hour mixing on location. Trust me, it really saves time. You only have limited space on your palette, so plan carefully where you are going to place your pre-mixed colors so you can have room to work.

You’re probably wondering what these piles of premixed colors are? Stay tuned!

I know I had planned on giving you a video on how to paint a still-life, unfortunately we lost some of our video footage. Too bad, because I put so much work and effort into it. I withdrew and painted quietly, posting on occasion. Ready to give up. It was all of your emails and notes encouraging me to keep at it. That you were so appreciative of all the content I had shared in the past and how much it helped you. It was all of you and all of your support that motivates me to share my passion for oil painting with you. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for sticking with me.

Here’s something you’ll Really Love….  a video I filmed while painting a creek in our back yard. 48 minutes of painting close up!

Still wondering about the premixed colors? Plein Air painting on Salt Spring Island with Naomi Grindlay

 

Enjoy!

Thank you for your patience….

It’s been a while I know. It’s hard writing anything when one is in a dark place. Slowly the light is beginning to seep in and brighten things up a bit. I’ve also been suffering with chronic lower back pain. I can’t sit for long periods of time, making it difficult to get any work done. I had to put the editing of Teacups and roses on hold as we had software issues and in the middle of switching to another program and learning how to use it! By end of July we should be back to normal and get back on track. I signed up with a new gallery and right now, I’m painting like crazy to replenish my stock.

I also just started a huge piece, 4′ x 5′ and will be uploading my progress with images and some video footage. I’ve spent that last few days prepping my panel for painting.

Over the many years of oil painting, there are some process that I’ve learned to implement when it comes to prepping painting panels. I way prefer painting on a wooden panel as apposed to canvas. I use Gamblin’s oil painting ground to seal the painting panel and once dry, I prime the panel with a mix of underpainting white and burnt umber. Basically an off white color to break the stark white ground.

New panel

Mixing white and burnt umber

Prepping panel

Yes, tinting ones canvas is great, but the main reason I prime my canvas with a layer of  oil paint, is Tooth. Your paint needs something to adhere to. I found that first priming this way, I can go over my entire canvas with one pass without having to go back to repaint or touch up. Alla prima made easier and quicker! Yes it takes a week to dry, but it’s worth it, believe me, you will be so glad you waited patiently. It literally cuts painting time in half.

You’re probably wondering what I’m going to be painting on such a huge panel?

Roses.

Teacups and Roses underpainting….

Another day closer to spring,  I’m so excited! I can’t wait to get my flower and veggie garden going. I’ll have tons of subject matter to paint, outside, my favorite place to be in the summer.

I completed my drawing and will be mixing some neutral grays to work on the underpainting. I filmed the drawing session and will be filming the process of mixing grays and how I made my value finder.

When I set up my still-life, I couldn’t find the right paper for the background, so I found an image of roses I liked and painted it into the background, really going for the look of  wallpaper. The rose lasted all of one day, so really had to improvise. So back to my palette, I have some grays to mix. I’ll be filming and explaining my process every step of the way right up to the very last brush stroke.

Have a wonderful day and happy painting!

Teacups and Roses underpainting

Teacups and roses drawing ~ Detail

Did you know that the Secret is in the grays?

Yesterday I spent the day setting up my new still-life and prepping my canvas. Today I’m going to be drawing in my image. I usually have two approaches to painting; direct painting, or indirect painting. For this one I decided to go with indirect painting. I begin with an underpainting and layering.. I actually find this approach pretty sound and would recommend it before direct painting, especially if you are a beginner. I realize some would argue the point, but in my own personal experience, direct painting is way more challenging. Once my underpainting is complete, I’ll mix up a set of grays and begin mixing color. I’m going to be filming the entire process from the drawing to the very last highlight. Teacups and roses is my subject matter. I’m excited! I love this still-life and look forward to sharing my process with you!

Did you know that the secret is in the grays? I’ll be filming how to mix the perfect gray and how to use grays and why you need them.

Have an Excellent day and Happy painting!

on

 

 

Launching my brand new website soon!

I’m so happy we’re in February, this means spring is approaching, that excites me!

I’ve been working like crazy on my brand new website that I’ll be launching in the next few weeks. I’m working on a set of how-to videos for those of you who are wanting to know how to paint a still life in oils and learn about the art of color mixing. I know so many struggle with color and seeing values. Oil painting can be very tricky, and unless you know what you are doing, you will continually struggle. In my experience, the first place to start is with Values before you even begin using color. I really wish I knew then what I know now, because I would be way ahead if only I began with the basics instead of trying to get ahead of myself with concepts way beyond my understanding.  This is why I decided to work on these videos and help those overcome the same struggles I had learning the Art of Oil Painting.

Wish you a fabulous day and happy painting!

Burnt Umber palette

 

A Wise man once told me…..

A wise man once told me to concentrate only upon the task at hand and nothing else. This way you give that task your full attention and the chance it deserves to flourish into something Extraordinary.

 

One of the best ways to improve your work….

Don’t you wish winter was over? I know I do… I’m more of a spring and summer kinda girl. I can’t wait to work on my garden and grow veggies and soak up some warm sunshine!

Back to my studio, I’m working on a project I can’t wait to share with you! It’s big and will probably take several months to complete. In the meantime, did you know, one of the best ways to improve your work… is to paint every single day. Set a time limit and do your best to stick to it. Start with four hours and then decrease your time limit as you improve. Start with a small canvas with one object and then add a few more as long as you keep it simple. Challenge yourself with a very limited palette like I did on with the bowl of eggs and water and the silver sugar bowl. When your time improves, challenge yourself with a larger piece. Anything is paint worthy. Coffee mugs, teacups, glass or even a rusty old pot. It doesn’t really matter. Pick something and go for it!

Begin with an underpainting using burnt umber and then add color. Try to stick with a very limited palette to challenge yourself even further.

I would Love to see some of your studies! Feel free to post your pics in the comment section below!

Silver sugar bowl

Painting eggs and water1

Apples for christmas

 

 

How to set up a painting studio for the DIY Artist!

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Earlier this year we moved out of a huge three bedroom house into a cabin in the middle of the woods. We built a gorgeous little 8’x8′ studio we share. I literally work in an 8’x4′ space! Marc salvaged a skylight from a construction job and installed it right in the middle of the studio brightening our space and opening up the ceiling to a beautiful view of trees and sky!

I had no room for my studio easel, so I designed one I could mount on the wall. I got rid of my huge palette table freeing up my much needed floor space. Instead, I mounted a clip board on the wall to hold my disposable palette. To steady my hand while I paint, I mounted an attachment with a 1″ stick to the top of my easel.

The white box on the wall is for a still life set-up. There are great benefits to having my still life next to my easel at eye level. One being, I can sight size and the other is not straining my eyes. The advantages of having my palette right next to me is I can match colors more effectively. It’s preferable to have a neutral toned palette which I will make with a piece of glass. I’ll show you later when I make mine. I do intend painting the inside still-life box another color, probably a darker color, something more suitable for still-life painting.

Not everyone is blessed with a skylight and and sometimes when the skies are too grey, I’ll switch the light on to brighten things up. I found this awesome light I want to show you. The color of the light 5000k which is perfect for painting. Kelvin is the color of the light. A kelvin over 5500 is too blue and less the 4800 is too yellow and can mess with your judgement and optically mess up your palette colors. That’s why it’s best to stick with 5000k, it’s not yellow nor blue, but right in the middle. I’m currently using GE Power Source…. It’s a skylight without a skylight. the best light I’ve ever used! I can’t remember how much we paid for it. Under $200 I think. Well worth it!

Mount on the ceiling behind you at 35% as high as you can, and about 4′ from the top of your canvas. This way you can illuminate your work without glare.

I attached a door with hinges to a little book shelf, turning it into a drying rack for my painting panels. This way I reduce the dust and kitty cat fur off my freshly primed panels. I will update with more images when I’m done tweaking.

Let me know what you think of my Shabby chic studio!

Shabbychicstudio1.jpg

 

What a joy painting such a happy Pooch…

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Montanacompleted

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Montana ❤ His smiling face and bright eyes touch my soul.

I mixed some titanium white, a tiny bit of transparent red oxide and a tiny dash ultramarine blue and a tiny dash of yellow ochre for the white fur; to which I ad a dash of gray made up of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. It’s a little tricky working the dark and the light fur without greying the black. I used a clean brush with every stroke from black into the white fur so that I didn’t grey any of the black fur. I left little bits of the underpainting showing through and that warms it up from the inside out.

Hope you enjoyed the progress picks and how I develop a painting. More to come!

 

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

 

 

Today’s progress on Montana the pooch…

Blue skies

I worked until 11pm, I’m done, tired, but I did promised I would load my progress by the end of the day. It’s the end of the day and here it is :- )

The colors I’m using for this painting are; Transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, Ultramarine blue, Burnt umber, Titanium white Alizarin and cadmium red.

Once I had laid in my darks, I filled the background with blue skies and clouds, placing Montana on the beach, his favorite place to be.

Montanas palette1

I mixed Ultramarine blue with a dash of transparent red oxide, plus white for the blue skies and for the clouds, I mixed some white with a grey I made with transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue. For the lights I mixed white with transparent red oxide and a tiny dash of Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress1

I painted in the yellowy brown colors above and below Montana’s eyes. I mixed Transparent red oxide with yellow ochre. To darken the mixture I added some burnt umber.

Montanas progress2

I then added the blue grey markings on his forehead and nose and blended the fur with the white color which is Titanium white with a dash of transparent red oxide and tiny dash of ultramarine blue and grey.Montanas progress3

I then painted Montana’s eyes with Transparent red oxide, a dash of blue and burnt umber. Next, for his tongue, I mixed a dash of cadmium red, grey, alizarin and white with a teeny dash of yellow ochre and white. The grey I refer to is a mix of transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress4

 

Next I painted in Montana’s teeth with some transparent red oxide, a dash of yellow ochre and white.

I premixed my greys. Actually I always premix all my colors, it’s much easier in the long run even though it takes quite a bit of time preparing my colors, it still saves me time and hassle in the end. For the browns in the fur I mixed together some transparent red oxide with yellow ochre and a dash of burnt umber.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to complete the rest of the fur and then finish off the final touches!

 

I must admit, I do prefer the direct painting approach…

How I love to wake up in the morning and head straight into my beautiful garden. Everyone’s happy, fertilized, watered and growing as I await in anticipation for the magnificent summer display of blooms and butterflies. I can’t wait to walk through my flower garden and pick fresh blooms to paint. I’m so excited!

I will be spending much time this summer in my garden painting en plein air. There is nothing more exciting than painting outdoors with such a vast array of subject matter. Come on summer!!!

Back in my studio, I’m working on many underpaintings all soon ready for color.  I must admit, I do prefer the direct painting approach. I find the gray underpainting somewhat monotonous and boring, although when it comes to adding color, it gets exciting again. Once these are done and out the way, I will be very relieved and stick to direct painting in future.

I know that there are those learning this method and who are intrigued by the glazing process. I will post some images and perhaps an iphone video of how I go about applying color, glazing and scumbling. My palette is a gray tile and the colors I use for my underpainting is Titanium white and Raw umber. My initial drawing is done with just Raw umber. I like to leave some of the warmth showing through in some areas.

underpainting

 

on

Chopin plays his piano and soothes my soul…

It’s a beautiful morning on this first day of March. Although it looks like rain on the way, there is such a beautiful light flooding through my window. I moved my studio upstairs. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. The attic room was purple, but not for long. I painted it a dark sage green. The colour of ambient atmosphere. Perfect for painting people and still from life. I’m so fortunate to have this space in this north-west facing room.  The window light is more than enough light for painting. The natural light is way more uplifting for my spirit. Chopin plays his piano and soothes my soul while I write, sigh…

Here’s an image I took with my iphone of my studio. I love this space. I can close the door and shut the world out while I paint and swoon over the most beautiful music that touches my muse in such a profound way.

my new studio

In reply to your question, Felta, about how I set up a portrait sitting. How long a sitter sits and how much do I get done in one sitting.

I have two windows in my studio. I sit with my back facing the one window, so the window light falls on the canvas on my easel and palette. The sitter sits near the other window. Generally I like a two hour sitting, although I can manage an hour if the sitter falls asleep and needs to go home for a nap. Two of them fell asleep sitting for me yesterday hahaha!

Rolf's portrait

In this image, the sitter, Rolf came over to sit for his portrait quite late in the day and the light began to fade. I turned on a 5000k light and faced it up towards the ceiling. The light bounced off the ceiling and created the perfect light for my sitter. The first sitting took a few hours. This time was spent drawing his face with my brush on a canvas I stained with a wash of burnt umber the day before. I used burnt umber for my drawing. The second sitting was an hour and half. Half the time was spent laying in shadows and searching for the correct colours. I found the right mixes and made notes. The third sitting was in my new studio. An hour, Rolf fell asleep, lol, he had a long day at work, standing all day cutting hair. My studio is so peaceful. I have the most beautiful view overlooking a gorgeous Zen Garden David created. An old blue and gray house in the neighbors yard and the trees behind the house looks so inviting. I am definitely going to paint this view. Soon.

The colours I use for flesh tones are as follows, but first remember this, although we all have our own skin tone recipes, they are never written in stone. Skin tones differ and also depends on what surrounds the skin. Light and colour illuminate the skin. Our skin is like a mirror that reflects everything around it. Here are a few recipes I picked up from Daniel Greene, one of my favorite portrait painters. I found his mixtures to be pretty spot on. I like to premix some of my colours, especially when time is of the essence.

Raw Sienna + Cadmium red light. This is for the reds in the half tones and the hot reds in the shadows.

Chromium oxide green. I’ll explain how I use this colour…

Look at your hand. Hold your had sideways like this.

My hand

Notice that as the light begins to turn to shadow there is a green colour and then the hottest colour is right where the shadow begins. Right next to the hottest colour is green and then the shadow is made up of the ambient colour of the room . You can see it closer to my thumb.  If you notice the top left side of the image, the folds between my thumb and forefinger are red and then surrounded with a subtle green. Notice the green surrounding the indentation.  You will also notice the yellow colour of my skin in the light. Yellow Ochre + White and a dash of purple, I made up of Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine blue. Always think complimentary colours when you paint skin tone. I use Chromium oxide  Green and the Raw sienna and Cadmium red light mix for the shadows. For the deepest shadows I mix Sap green + Alizarin. Two transparent colours. You want to keep your shadow colours thin. Always tone down your reds with green. Always tone down your greens with red and that includes pinks too, as that is made from reds. Always use complimentary colours to tone down the intensity and Nothing else. For pinks I use Burnt sienna + white. For orange tones I use Burnt Sienna + Yellow Ochre. Always tone down your yellows with purple. Nothing else. Remember, Yellow Ochre is a yellow. I also mix up a pile of Transparent red oxide and Ultramarine Blue for my darks. Transparent Red oxide + Burnt sienna with a dash of blue + White makes a great base for skin tone too. It all really depends on the sitter’s skin tone and the ambient atmosphere. Alizarin and Viridian make a beautiful dark colour for shadows in the the background too. I also sometimes use Viridian in skin tones too, it really depends on the skin tone of the sitter.

As I mentioned in previous posts, make up colour charts of the colours you use. You can’t go wrong. If I don’t know what combination of colours to mix to arrive at a certain colour, I use my colour charts. It’s fail-proof.

skin tone colour chart

Hope this helps, please feel free to ask any questions should I have missed anything.

Good luck and happy Painting!

A successful painter once told me to never be satisfied with mediocrity…

Wow, now that the crazy rush is over, well almost. I can get back to planning the year ahead. I have a few projects on the go. One of the projects involve painting a collection for a fund-raiser. More of that to come later as it develops. I plan to paint more prolifically this coming year. One thing I do intend to take part in, the practice of a one hour, tonal study from life as a warm-up to start the day. I find this practice excellent for self discipline and improves one’s skill over a short period of time. One of these days I’ll film a demonstration to show how easy this is and how much pleasure one can derive from it :- )

The best way to progress as a painter~ is to paint. A lot. Every day. The more you practice, the better you get. There are no hidden ‘Secrets’ or shortcuts to painting beautifully. One cannot put an apple in a blender and expect grape juice. What you put in, is what you get out.  A successful painter once told me to never be satisfied with mediocrity. Always push yourself further than your capabilities. Challenge yourself with the most difficult parts first and when you have that down, challenge yourself even further.

Currently on my easel is the first of several paintings for a fundraiser I’m taking part in. More to come on that.

Happy painting :- )

Stan on my easel1

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

Feel free to join us on The Oil Painter’s Studio Facebook Group and get in on all the awesome Videos, Tips and Lessons on everything Oil Painting!

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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Doin’ some easel time…

Ive put myself under easel arrest until such time as I’ve made some decent headway on this painting.

Spent the last few days finishing off a couple of still life paintings and now I’m going to work diligently on this one until it’s complete. Got to move on to the next canvas soon. I plan on covering these walls by May for the studio tour organized by Vicwest Art Quest.  Now for some fresh java and back to work for me.

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.