"when painting is a passion"
Have you got the acrylic palette blues? Is your palette drying out whilst you work wasting money and above all annoying and wasteful?
Is the old paint clogging up the sink and hubby the plumber is not a happy man?
Well good news is at hand. With the onslaught of the heat here in Queensland I thought this was an appropriate and timely subject to discuss.
Painting can be more of a challenge with paint drying quickly on your palette, loosing that special colour mix and having to start over.
Well I am here to sort you out.
Acrylics have a habit of drying quickly especially in hot and or dry weather. To extend the life of the paint on your palette & to assist your painting a wet palette is highly recommended.
To create a successful wet palette you will require the following items:
· Large sponge or Chux dish cloth
· Grease proof paper (just the cheap lunch wrap one from the supermarket will do). I do not like baking paper as the paint pulls away as it has a waxy coating.
· Shallow container no less than A4 in size, larger if possible with a re-sealable lid. The pastry containers sold in all supermarkets is ideal. Do not have a container that is too deep the shallower the better.
Step 1: Wet the sponge and wring out as much water as possible. If the sponge is too wet the paint will become watery and useless.
Step 2: Wrap the sponge in the grease proof paper making sure that the paper wraps all around the sponge. This will ensure that the weight of the damp sponge and paint holds the paper in position and stops it from sliding around. Lay the sponge wrapped in paper in the container with the join of the paper underneath. You are now ready to use. Place your paint across the top of the palette leaving the bulk of the palette area for blending and mixing. In very hot weather have a mist sprayer handy and mist your palette at regular intervals to keep it cool and the paints moist.
Step 3: When your painting session is over seal the palette with the lid and place in the fridge. Paint will generally keep up to 1 week, sometimes more. When the palette is no longer required remove the paper and discard in the rubbish bin.
Pro Tip: I NEVER use baking paper. Although it is stronger it has a waxy feel which prohibits me seeing if the blending of my brush is correct or not.
ATTENDING CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
In my last blog we discussed setting up your home studio and hopefully you have been setting yourself up for some great organized painting in 2020.
Now I would like to talk about those times when you may not be painting in your studio but are off to a workshop or class or even perhaps to a plein air outing ( I will be doing a segment on painting plein air and travel painting in an upcoming blog so stay tuned). It is equally important if not more so to be organized when out and about. If you have forgotten something there is no going back home to collect what you have forgotten.
Here are some tips about how to enjoy your away from home studio painting time more.
· BE PREPARED: arrive at class or workshop with your painting kit on time or a little beforehand.
· Have your surface prepared as required. Canvases should be painted with 2 coats of good quality gesso, watercolour paper stretched and taped onto your board, pastel paper cut to size and taped to your board.
· Do you require a photo or sketch of your subject? If so have this printed or sketched before class or workshop unless specified as not required by your teacher.
· KNOW YOUR COLOURS: Think about the colours you want to use and what mediums you will need and make sure they are packed in your painting kit. Check the requirements list supplied by your teacher and tick these off as you pack them. Use your colour wheel to assist you in your colour scheme if you are making the colour choices.
· Pack your Art Journal and notebook, Colour wheel and greyscale
· COME EARLY: Aim to arrive at class 10-15 minutes before the commencement time and lay out your kit, make a cuppa and organize yourself. You will be painting with friends so you may need to get aquatinted BEFORE the designated start time. Be punctual as this is only courteous towards the teacher.
· HOW TO LAY OUT YOUR PAINTING AREA: When laying out your painting area try to follow these simple procedures.
1. Lay out an old towel.
2. Prepare your wet palette if you are working in acrylics or your dry palette for oils. Lay out your pastels
3. Place your palette or pastels next to you on your right if you are right handed and on your left if you are left handed.
4. Stand your desk easel if you have on in front of you or stand your floor easel to the left of your working area if you are right handed and to the right if you are left handed.
5. Water basins and/or medium trays should be placed above your palette. If using water jars it is suggested you use 2-one for rinsing brushes while the other is left for clean water to be added to paint. Make sure the opening of the jar is wide enough for the brushes to fit in the opening. Do not overfill as you want to be able to swish the brushes around in the jar without slopping water over the sides.
6. Between the easel/work area and the palette place an old cloth or paper towel for wiping brushes on or cleaning your pastels.
7. Place your brushes at the back of the water containers/medium trays for easy access.
8. Ensure your any mediums you are may use are also available and a small quantity is placed in a clean lid or small container next to the water/medium tray.
9. Clip your photo/picture to the top of your canvas or easel or close by for easy reference.
10. For safety purposes store bags/trolleys etc close to walls or under tables to avoid anyone tripping.
11. Be considerate to others, if you are the 1st to arrive do not spread out, take only the amount of room you need to paint comfortably. If there is extra room once everyone arrives you can then start to spread out
12. An organized work area is effective & doesn’t need a lot of room to work well.
Don't forget to leave your comments on www.colourwizards.com
Being organized before you begin painting or drawing will not only add to your whole painting experience, but it will also save you time and frustration. Knowing where everything is and having your materials on hand when you need them at your fingertips will allow you to concentrate on your artwork rather than stressing where something is or losing time and concentration rummaging around looking for it.
What you need and how to pack or store your art materials largely depends on the location will be painting at. I will try to break down my ideal check list for the most common scenarios for you.
In Part 1 I am concentrating on your ideal home studio. Take away what ideas you like and add ideas you may have on your wish list. For inspiration have a look at the book “STUDIO creative spaces for creative people” by Sally Couthard a Jaqui Small publication.
The Home studio
A home studio can be as little as a desk in the corner of your dining room up to a lavish purpose-built room or even better a free-standing studio in your backyard. Personally, I am lucky enough to have the use of a great room which has large windows and good ventilation.
No matter what your artistic ability you deserve to own your own space and you should give yourself permission to ensure you have an area for your artistic creations…you deserve it. This space will undoubtedly improve your artistic skills as it allows you to experiment and be adventurous and have the ability to reward yourself the OK to try new techniques.
Choose a space which has good natural light and is well ventilated. If your natural light is poor, consider the purchase of a lamp which has a daylight bulb. You could look at Verve Design 225mm White LED Gooseneck Dale Clip Lamp available from Bunnings for just $36.00.
Ideally the walls of your studio should be painted white or a close relation to white to reflect as much light as possible. Coloured walls can reflect the wall colour onto your painting creating distorted colours within your work.
A drafting table or similar which has a tilting facility would be perfect, however, make sure it can also be used horizontal giving you greater flexibility. For those of you who work standing at an easel the table can be utilized for holding brushes, paints, pastels, water etc and used flat for drawing purposes. When choosing a table or desk check the height to ensure it is not too high or too low compared with the chair you will be using. Ensure your chair has a straight back and gives good lumbar support. One on wheels is perfect.
Next you will need to select appropriate storage. There are a plethora of drawers, boxes and trays from which to choose these days with "Cheap Stores" offering great value for your buck. I suggest you take a sample of what you want to store, the quantities and sizes you have to accommodate to the store so that when you return you know everything will fit your new purchases.
Ask yourself do you want your supplies to be on show or do you need to hide them away when guests arrive?
Set up your desk and easel preferably with your back to the light source to prevent squinting and ensure you are not going to cast shadows over your work. Think about if you would like or could install a sink and running water, small kitchen and perhaps a loo…. these items are on a wish list but many studios will be lucky enough to include these items. I installed a second hand kitchen which was in good condition into my studio, sink and all. Works a treat.
Here are a couple of photos of studios I found to be interesting. Let me know how you go and I would love to see your photos of your studio. Let's share our ideas.
I found this article on a website called Colossal on a book or should I say journal which was written by A Boogert a dutchman in 1692. It is especially interesting as it relates to my last post on getting to know your materials. Have a look at his fabulous colour journal. Thank you Colossal for the great article.
Knowing your materials is paramount in executing a successful painting.
Colour swatching your colours can be a tedious exercise, however, it is so rewarding and can only contribute to you understanding your materials.
Whether it be acrylic, oil, watercolour, pastel, watercolour pencils, inks, colour pencils, water soluble graphite and even mark making pens the value of producing your own colour swatches cannot be under estimated.
Being an artist for 30 odd years means I have collected a multitude of art materials and the prospect of producing colour swatches for all my paints, pastels, inks and pens can be over whelming, however, a worthwhile work in progress.
Colour swatches are produced on the surface I would normally paint onto. For example watercolor paint, inks and watercolour pencils are painted onto 300gsm watercolor paper while acrylic and oil are painted onto papers specifically designed for these paints or I often use canvas sheets which I personally gesso (more on why you should gesso in a later blog). Pastels are painted onto white colourfix pastel paper. For coloured pencils, Nikon type pens and graphite pencils I use Canson 220 Drawing Paper.
By painting your swatches onto the appropriate surface you will eventually use produces a truer representation of colour and texture which you will eventually achieve when painting your actual final painting. Under each swatch list the Brand, colour name and number or mix you have used to make the swatch.
How to make a Colour Swatch
Happy Colour Swatching
Welcome to the 1st blog of many and thank you for taking the time to drop by and take a look at what I am up to. My plan (yes, I do have a plan) is to teach, excite and inform all my painting friends what is happening in the world of the Landsborough Art Studio and my own personal art journey.
So why a blog? Funny I asked myself this question many times before I finally took the plunge. The answer is not a short definitive one I am afraid. The one thing I am sure of is that I love my art and love teaching the process it takes to create beautiful art to others and above all sharing knowledge and my passion.
Thru the blogs you will be offered instructional information, tips and techniques, exhibition opportunities, workshops, demonstrations, en plein air days, urban sketching, challenges, painting retreats, how-to's and also you sharing your experiences and knowledge with others thru our comments facility below.
Let's call my blog a "one stop shop" for all artists interested in arty stuff.
Over the past 30 years I have been holding a paintbrush or pencil on an almost daily basis and teaching students what I can to assist them on their painting journey. Despite these years of experience I am still learning and consistently attending workshops and demonstrations with other artists sharing my new found knowledge with you and it never ceases to amaze me just how much I still have to learn. The day I think I have nothing more to learn is the day they should be locking me away in an old age home for the mentally inept.
I am not a gifted artist and have always struggled to learn the various techniques and skills to produce my art so I understand your pain.
In addition to my love of art I lovingly tend my extensive garden on 3 acres in a country location, love to bits my fur babies Rommel and Storm and of course my precious hubby, travel and adventure to wonderful locations and above all loving life and good friends.
So come long with me on my journey of discovery, sharing together our experiences and skills along the way.