Tag Archives: Art Supplies

Finished At Last!

Still LIfe With Hydrangea No. 1 and No. 2

The oil on canvas version of Still Life with Hydrangea (on the right) that I started back in mid-summer is finally finished.  It just needs some drying time and a coat of varnish.  The acrylic version on the left was finished last month, but I thought I’d wait until both were done to “unveil” them.

I started with oil paints that are water-miscible (water-mixable or water soluble — all three mean the same).  I determined that they weren’t all they were marketed to be.  Some colors/brands mix with water better than others.  Some mix better with turpentine substitute (mineral spirits).  Some don’t mix very well with either.  Most colors got gummy at some point and resisted spreading.   I ended up giving in and buying a bottle of Turpenoid® and a set of inexpensive conventional oil paints — the supposedly noxious chemicals that I’d been avoiding all my life for fear that they were dangerous to work with.

I found that I had been silly to wait so long to try oils.  I had always assumed that oil painting required a big bucket of solvent. For that I blame Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting… also my unpleasant experiences with oil-based house paint.  I bought a nifty little stainless steel cup with a spill-proof lid and a grate inside for rubbing the brushes against to clean them.  It only needs a few ounces of solvent and it can be reused over and over again before needing to clean the cup and change the solvent, because the paint solids sink to the bottom under the grate. I can’t believe in all my years of making art, I never learned about this.

I’m sure you knew all about this and you’re shaking your head at my ignorance.  Anyway, I’m very happy with how both paintings turned out and I will be posting them for sale shortly — the oil version will need to dry first.  And I’ll need to keep my fingers out of the paint while it does.  I seem to be getting better at that.

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Yes, those are art supplies.

PowerToolsAreArtSupplies

I’m stalling on starting my next painting because I ordered a drawing tool from Amazon (more on that later), and I’m waiting for it to arrive so I can use it.  It’s somewhere between here and Salt Lake City at the moment — we obsessive types really like online tracking.  It’s the packages that we don’t need in hurry that arrive with surprising speed.  Seriously…I order toothpaste and it’s here in flash.  The fun stuff takes forever.

While I wait for my package, I’ve been adding extra layers of gesso to the canvas, and I’ve been making myself some nifty new palettes out of leftover building materials from our past home renovations.  So instead of canvas and paint, my art supplies of the day were scraps of white wall panel, a leftover sheet of window glass, Sparkle™ glass cleaner, and white duct tape.  Instead of brushes and palette knives, my tools were an ultra-fine Sharpie® marker, a power saw and a glass cutter.

GlassPalettes

Except for slightly sharp corners (I should have sandpapered before taping), I am very happy with the results.  I’ve got two small ones I can hold while painting, and one really big one that can sit on the table next to my easel with my rinse bucket.

Credit goes to Robin Sealark’s YouTube video for the idea.  I’m SO glad to finally have that big piece of glass out of my garage.  It’s been eight years since somebody (not me) bought a piece of glass the size of the hole, and not the window frame.  I tried to unload during three or four garage sales, but no takers.  Maybe my guardian angel hid it from garage sale shoppers because the Lord knew I would need it for making palettes.

I’m also glad to have learned how to use a glass cutter.  A new skill is always a good thing.  I don’t recall where I got that tool, it was probably among the junk that was in the house when we bought it.  I’m extra glad I didn’t sell that in the garage sale.