Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall's Full of Color and Creativity!

"Enchanted Spot" 8x10 oil (on hold for show)
Happy fall all! As a painting instructor this is one of my busiest (and therefore favorite) months but because of that I haven't had that much time to participate Leslie's annual September "30 in 30" painting challenge.  But I still strongly believe that relatively small "almost" daily paintings are one of THE best ways to improve your painting skills so I hope you'll keep painting and growing!

In a previous post, I mentioned this is a sensible season to invest in both you and your creative tools. Unfortunately, I think many artists (and this is too bad) abandon art simply because they are using not the right materials. On the other end, I've had beginners spend thousands and that's not necessary either. Here are my thoughts on what you might want to upgrade or enhance in your studio or creative space:

  • Does your color seem dull, strange texture? A student brand or old tube may be the culprit. Superior quality (professional artist) paint or simply fresh paint. Maybe slowly start replacing your student paint for a few nicer tubes of paint? That being said, there are some “student” paint pigments I still use and like (thalo blue for example). 
  • Brushes seen better days? Better brushes or just new clean brushes with good edges, etc. I use mostly Silver Bristlons, Rosemary's and Winsor Newton Monarchs since I prefer synthetics. In general these are in the 10-25 dollar range for small/medium sizes online but they also last much longer than craft quality brushes. Tip: Winsor Newton Non Toxic Brush Wash--pricey but you don't need much and works better than anything I've ever found. 
  • Have you ever worked on the very best surface you can find? For oil painters this could be linen or Ampersand Gessobord.  And for really large paintings? I use one of the weekly coupons for one of the big craft stores or wait for a sale to buy their best gallery wrap canvas. 
  • Easel—I really like a crank easels—In a dry climate (where wood splits/loosens) that’s just worth the extra cost for me because I know they will last a long time. Tip you can often find good easels used and a little paint splatter won't effect the function--just be sure to test them.  
  • Tempered glass palettes are super easy to clean and strong--Haven't broken one yet! I buy mine online at Store Supply Warehouse. Be sure to cover your high quality paint and store in a cool place. 

I hope those tips make your fall painting adventure more enjoyable! P.S. There are a few spots left in my my next Denver oil painting class (6 weeks) starts on WED. October 26--Please visit the studio website for more info.

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