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Showing posts from January, 2015

Some of My Favorite Oil Supplies

I often get asked what paints, brushes & supplies I use so I thought I would create a post with images for all us visual learners to make sharing the info easier.

These are the supplies that I use when I teach my workshops and art classes.  My next class starts in March, please visit if you would like more information.


Silver Bristalon Synthetic Rounds - Absolutely LOVE these brushes! They allow you to scrub to your hearts content yet the bristles stay together nicely and do not splay.  They may break down over time, but they always retain their shape and you don't get that annoying odd stray hair sticking out the side as you usually do with scrubbing brushes.
Silver Ruby Satin Synthetic - Again love this brush.  Excellent snap, soft yet able to achieve fine control.  Very resilient brush.

Rosemary & Co Ivory Long Flat - Love, love these brushes for alla prima and plein air painting.  They hold a lot of pain…

How Many Straight Lines Does It Take To Draw A Sphere....

not as many as you would think! I have never really drawn a sphere without some sort of crutch, ie grid lines, compass or masking tape roll.  I honestly did not think would be so easy to get a relatively perfect sphere, ok so it is not perfectly round, but I think it is pretty close. 

Basically I used four straight lines to form a box  around the sphere and then filled in the spaces between the lines to form a circle, using smaller and smaller straight lines.  It took shape much more quickly (well, that term is relative I guess) than I had expected. 

The shading, using only a 2H and H pencil on the other hand, took much longer than I had expected.   The pencil leads were sharpened with sandpaper to a lethally sharp point and the values were built up very slowly and methodically working from the terminator (point where the light no longer reaches) to the highlight.  The idea is to work only in one area at a time, not jumping from one area to the next.  The focus of the exercise is on …

Shell, Leaf & Pitcher Grisaille

This is the first oil pass of the grisaille for a piece I am working on.  The original drawing can be viewed at   For this painting I transferred the drawing onto the panel using an oil transfer (I will blog about how to do this in the near future).

Once the transfer was dry, I did a light burnt umber layer to workout the main values, unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of this step. Next time ;)

When the burnt umber layer was completely dry, I used my pre-mixed oil paints from a value of 2 to 9 (2 darkest value, 9 near white value)  At this stage I focused on trying to really correctly record the tilts and angles of my subjects from my still life set up.  Working from life is more challenging than working from a photo but so much more fulfilling as there is just so much more information about the form to work from.

The paint is applied very thinly with little to no medium.  When I do use the medium (L…

Monochromatic Oil Sketches

For these sketches I was experimenting with different surfaces to paint on for my practice sketches & color studies.  The painting on the far left was done drawn first with charcoal and then painted using a monochromatic values on Arches Oil Paper, the painting in the middle was done with a quick burnt umber sketch with the brush directly on the paper and then overpainted with the monochromatic values (a copy of a painting by John Singer Sargent that does not really look like the original but I loved her look so kept her as is :)) done on gessoed Arches watercolor paper and the painting on the right was painted in the same manner as the Sargent copy but on canvas paper. 

My favorite surface by far was the gessoed Arches watercolor paper, although the Arches Oil paper was a close second and I think with a coat of gesso it would be my fav...other than price.  The canvas paper was my least favorite as it is very slipper. I think it would be great for plein air pai…