Category: How to

Painting flesh

People find painting people and portraits difficult. Even artists who can paint complicated landscapes without too much difficulty stumble when they attempt people. Why? Part of the answer is the uncanny valley. The uncanny valley refers to the mechanisms people have for recognizing other humans. It turns out that these complicated mechanisms are difficult to…

Leaded oil completed

I began my latest batch of leaded linseed oil on July 27, 2021–38 days ago. I protected the oil from debris with a cover. I gently rocked the tray periodically to prevent surface skin.  When I checked the oil today, it was thick and sluggish which means it’s ready to decant and store. Forgetting to…

Get the lead out

OK, the title of this post is a bit of misdirection. I mean to say ‘get the lead in.’  Quick-drying oil is very important for oil painting. Not only do quick-drying oils enable artists to finish paintings quickly, drying oils improve the way paint handles. It gives artists more control over the paint–an altogether good…

Almost ready

I put the final toned ground on the linen-cotton blend canvas that I recently wrote about. The canvas is dry, indeed, it was dry the same day I applied the ground, but it still needs to cure for a few days. Dry to touch doesn’t mean really dry. When it’s done curing, I’ll sand it…

Commercial canvas

I spend a lot of time preparing canvases–stretching, priming, and grounding. The process works well for me but it’s time-consuming. I would gladly buy commercially-prepared canvas but my experience with it has been bad. In the past, I’ve paid premium prices for inferior products. The art supply market is filled with hucksters and amateurs. Knowing…