Tools, Tutorials & Lessons

I’ll share some of my art secrets with you – my own odd ways of working developed over some years. I work with oils on paper, panel and canvas, in watercolor, colored pencil, graphite pencil, sometimes pastel. And I love using acrylics for mixed media.

Tell me what you want to learn

If you have questions, I’ll take comments on this page. That will help me develop a good Q&A, too!

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Tools

My first love was outdoor painting, on the island where I grew up in Michigan. We’d head out in the rowboat or speedboat and drop anchor some lovely spot, and let the beauty of the water inspire us.

 

Travel Sketching

You can get a lot of information down with just a warm and a cool pigment. Consider 2 watercolor pencils, perhaps ultramarine and burnt sienna, and one of those lovely portable water brushes. Another thing I adore is water soluble graphite. Makes a lovely wash, plus you have those pencil textures.

Travel by Air
  1. Airlines will say they do not allow paint in either the cabin nor carryon luggage. Here’s how to get around that.
  2. call your paints “artist’s colors”
  3. carry the MDSM sheet for several paints showing the low flammability of the paints.
  4. put your thinner and medium in 3 ounce bottles, take a few of them. If challenged, point out that 3 oz of nail polish remover is certainly just as hazardous.
Plein Air Oil Painting

Hauling your oil painting kit around takes a bit of planning, and now that ‘plein aire’ painting has become a competitive sport, there are plenty of cool products that make things easier. Here’s some of what’s worked for me.

  • Fast Drying Oils – Alkyd, Griffin, Gamblin, DaVinci
  • Classic colors
  • gessoed paper
  • lightweight easel
  • folding chair
  • artbox
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