Category: Shop Talk

Discuss the nuts and bolts of creating art

Naphtha

I’ve written before about the difference between paint thinner and OMS (spoiler: they’re just different names for the same thing). I’ve also written about the turpentine that I routinely use. Why haven’t I written about Naphtha? I use Naphtha to clean etching plates but for painting, I use it less frequently than the other top…

Painting flesh

Artists 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…

New paint order from Blue Ridge

The more I use Blue Ridge oils, the more I like them. I continue to use their flake white, of course, but I’m enjoying their entire lineup. My recent small order contains colors I use all the time, cerulean blue and permanent crimson, and others I’m testing–terra rosa and cobalt teal. Earth colors like terra…

White Balloon 3rd session

By my 3rd session with the painting titled White Balloon, I finally have the entire surface covered with paint. One issue large paintings present (White Balloon is 40″ x 54″) that is not encountered on small canvases is coordination. It’s too easy to work out the details in an area only to discover the area…

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…