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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Recycling Your Oil Paints - It Doesn't Get Much Greener!

How cool is this video on how to recycle your oil paints from Gamblin Oil paints? It shows you how to recycle the sludge at the bottom of your brush cleaning jar into "new" paint. It also enables you to reuse your cleaning liquid, in this case Gamsol (Gamblin's Odourless Mineral Spirits) so that you never have to dispose of these chemicals but just keep reusing them.

I am going to have to give this a try once I get enough slud, just starting out so it could take awhile but I will post and update when I get there :) I am using baby oil to clean my brushes right now for when I paint the next day but I think I will keep a separate jar with the Gamsol for when I won't be painting the next day.  The fact that you can keep reusing the solvent is great as I hate to add anymore crap to the landfills.  Plus, talk about getting the most bang for your buck!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dalia Flower Painting in Acrylic - wip #5

Many more layers of color have been added to this flower but still a fair bit more to go :) The background blues have been laid in and will be glazed so that they are much less bright in the final painting. 

The  dark values on the petals need to be deepened to create more depth and then I will add the highlights to the petals as each petal gets nearer completion.  I am also thinking I will need to knock back some of the background petals to create more depth as well but I will wait until I get more of the colors laid down.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Landscape Acrylic Painting - Underpainting with Golden Open Acrylics

This is the underpainting I did awhile back using Golden Open Acrylics.  I am trying all sorts of different mediums right now and had some of the golden open acrylics so I from the last workshop I took so I thought I would give them a try for this painting.  They are a little oily feeling but work very nicely for blending and clean up easily. Next comes the color :)

Although I enjoyed working with these acrylics I still felt the need to give oils a try so then jumped into playing with oils.  During the drying times I am juggling several paintings right now, my studio is a mess! Hopefully in the end the lack of moving space will result in several paintings that I am happy with :)

12x24" acrylic on panel

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My First Oil Painting

Seascape Oil Painting of Boat on Water

It is not completed but I thought I would post it to show I really have been painting as I have not been posting much lately.  This is a 14x18" oil painting on canvas using a very limited palette, blue, brown & white only.  Although it looks very gray online, there actually are hints of blue in the sky and water.  I may add a bit of red and yellow here and there in the sky and a bit more blue in the water but will wait a bit to decide. 

I  need to wait for the boat to dry a bit before I add the more details to it as trying to do so wet in wet just was not working too well.  I will also soften the clouds more and add more depth to them and possibly add a slight horizon line just to anchor things a bit. 

I am very new to oils and have been doing a  lot of surfing lately for tips but there is really nothing better than just diving in and seeing what happens :) Now, lets see how long this takes to dry....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cleaning Oil Paint Brushes without Solvents

I have recently taken up oil painting and am trying to limit the amount of solvents I use as much as possible. Solvents are very hard on brushes not to mention your health. I came across a great way to clean brushes that is quick, easy & good for brushes as it conditions them in the process.
  1. Mason Jar – I use the pint sized jar but any jar or can will do.
  2. Place a mesh screen or similar type screen (can buy at art or hardware store, see image below) at the bottom of the jar and fill the jar with unscented baby oil until the screen is covered by about 1/2 “
  3. At the end of your painting session, squeeze the ferrule of the brush into a paper towel or rag to remove as much paint as possible & wipe brushes on paper towel or rag to remove as much paint as possible.
  4. Dip into jar and scrub against the screen to loosen the paint further.
  5. Keep wiping on rag or towel until no more paint can be removed. 
  6. If you are going to be painting again the next day, just dip brushes in a 2nd jar with clean baby oil and lay them flat. The oil left on the brush will condition your brush overnight
If you will not be painting again soon, then wash with soap and water and lay brushes flat to dry

Screen from Art Store

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Making your own Graphite Transfer Paper

Transfer paper is used by artists to transfer their image to the final drawing paper or canvas.  It is invaluable and saves a great deal of time and money as drawing directly onto your canvas can leave eraser lines that can ruin a very expensive piece of paper or canvas.  Plus it is just makes the whole process much less intimidating to start with a refined sketch with all the problems worked out prior to putting it on the canvas or paper.

Making your own transfer graphite transfer paper is easy & relatively quick if you don't mind a bit of graphite on your fingers.  It will save you a lot of money in the long run and can be reused many times.

Making your Graphite Paper
  1. start with a plain piece of regular cartridge paper and a 2B or 4B pencil or whatever pencil you have on hand
  2. sharpen the pencil to a fine point as it will reveal the most amount of lead
  3. hold pencil at an angle and draw on paper using a cross-hatching movement laterally, horizontally and diagonally
  4. smooth out graphite with a paper towel or chamois
  5. repeat steps 3 and 4 several times until the paper is completely covered in graphite
  6. optional #2- if you want to keep your hands clean when using, tape a thin strip of low take painters tape around the edges & fold so it covers the front and back of the paper. This provides more support and a "handle" to hole the paper more easily
  7. option #1 - if you prefer, you can use graphite or charcoal powder that you can pick up at any art store rather than a pencil to give a more even coat more quickly.
The paper can now be used to transfer several sketches.

Transfering Your Sketch
  • Draw out your subject on a separate piece of paper, cartridge paper works just fine as can put up with alot of erasing
  • lay your graphite paper on your substrate (canvas or fine art paper)
  • lay your sketch on top of your graphite paper
  • tape at least one side down with low tack painters tape to hold it in place
  • draw over the lines on your sketch firmly but not hard enough to emboss the art paper as you will end up with indents that can detract from the final piece (of course this could also provide interesting texture depending on your subject & medium)
  • remove both the sketch and the graphite paper both of which can be reused for another time

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dalia Flower Painting in Acrylic - wip #4

Wew, most of the canvas is now painted for the first layer.  Painting around the side always seems to take me longer. 

Next I will start putting in the darkest darks and bulding up the layers to create more depth and separation of the petals.

It actually looks kind of nice on my mantle already as the yellow in the flower closely matchs the wall color so I thought I would take the progress photo there rather than on the easel :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dalia Flower Painting in Acrylic - wip #3

Just a quick post to show the progress so far. I can only paint in short sessions due to my back so going a little slowly but having fun :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

My New Toys!

Aren't they beautiful!?!?   I put my back out (or pinched a nerve or something) last weekend so I was stuck with a heating pad on my back for 3 days, during which I surfed about art stuff, of course :)  I was not planning on taking up another medium at this time as I have so much that I want to try with my current mediums that I all ready need an extra 10 hours in my day... but I keep seeing so many amazing artist's work lately using oils that I just could not resist any longer.

So I compared all the options (genesis heat set oils, water miscible oils, regular oils) and decided to go with Gamblin oil paints as they seem very high quality & the company seems very into creating great products with the least amount of toxicity. 

After surfing for 3 days straight, I also discovered that many artists use just linseed or walnut oil and odourless mineral spirits (still toxic but very minimal in a well ventilated studio) in their paintings.  So no reason not to jump in and give them a try...right?  I did not need all the mediums but thought why not try them out & see if I like them as they also seemed pretty low in toxicity & I love the bottles!  In hindsight I should have just jumped in and bought more paint as well as I thought with the two colors I could just do a few monochromatic studies but after playing for an hour I found myself really wanting to be able to mix some real darks.  Oh well, another trip to the art store, heh heh :)

Dalia Flower Painting in Acrylic - wip #2

This is my progress so far.  I am just blocking in the shapes, lights and darks, to cover the canvas and get a bit more of a roadmap going. 

Flowers are really alot of fun to paint as it is like a big jigsaw puzzle.  The darks will need to be deepened more of course but just getting rid of the whites at this point. A little messy looking but it will get better soon :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dalia Flower Painting in Acrylic - wip

I have been playing with my acrylics ALOT lately but nothing worth showing, just having alot of fun play. I wanted to do some more large florals since my last watercolor floral painting, Not Quite White, as they are just so much fun to do.

So  I found an amazing photo on wet canvas (thanks so much happypaddler for sharing :)) that I liked.  I changed the format a bit before transferring my sketch to the canvas.  I am using a 16x20" gallery wrapped canvas with 2" sides so I will be painting around the sides as well.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Removing Acrylic Paint from Computer Monitors

Well it was bound to happen, I seem to have gotten my acrylic paints everywhere, carpet, hands, hair, splattering other paintings inadvertantly...and now my computer screen. I tried to be more careful, it made me really miss my watercolors, but the area where there was no paint on my monitor kept getting smaller and smaller. So I took the plunge and decided to try to clean it.

I made a mix of isopropal alcohol & distilled water and held my breath. It took a fair bit of dipping and wiping with my cloth but it works like a charm. Other than my fingernail scraping a small area when wiping, luckily near the top of my monitor. I have a soft screen and had no troubles so I am guessing this would work on all monitors as I think these ones are more finicky, you are not even supposed to touch them with your fingers...I don't really :)

So I thought I would post this tip as I have asked several artist friends if they knew how to clean acrylic off stuff and they seemed just as stumped as I was so hopefully this will help other artists see their screens again as I am sure I am not the only one out there with this "problem" ;)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

More Playing Around with Acrylics

This is another piece I am playing around with.  It is really hard to photograph as the surface is very shiny & several of the paint colors are irridescent and interpherence colors which reflect the light even more so you don't see the real colors.  If the sun ever does come out I will take another photo outside in the shade which should help.
I may do more layers but thought I would post as is and look at it for awhile :)