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Oil Paints!

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Oil paints!

Originally posted on my main blog.

So, yes, oil paints. I got 5 colors today, from the student Winton range by Winsor & Newton (slightly cheaper than the Artist’s Oil Colour range, and all colors cost the same).

Cadmium Red Hue (slow drying)
I was trying to decide between Pale Red, Indian Red (both of which are oxides, so they have a more rust-like color), Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Cad Red Hue for reds. I’d read that something called Venetian Red is well suited to a limited palette like what the old masters used, and that the closest substitutes here would be Indian Red, followed by Light Red. But then another source said P. Alizarin Crimson was very common on many artists’ palettes. I felt it was a bit too pinkish, but what do I know, really? Anyway finally I read Cad Red was more versatile so I got that.

From the online Winton color chart:

Light Red Indian Red Permanent Alizarin Crimson Cadmium Red Hue

Burnt Sienna (medium drying)
This was originally Payne’s Grey, until I read online that Burnt Sienna is dead useful.

Titanium White (medium drying)

Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue (slow drying) 

French Ultramarine (medium drying)

W&N have also got a series called Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colourwhich I was quite interested in, because I don’t really like dealing with solvents. I couldn’t find it at Art Friend though (or maybe I saw and forgot). Speaking of solvents, I picked up a jar of Low Odor Thinner (Daler-Rowney), left it on a shelf while I went to swap Indian Red for Cad Red Hue, and forgot to buy it.

I also saw W&N’s oil “canvas” (actually just textured and treated paper) pads. A pad of 10 sheets costs about $13, so I decided to just use my existing acrylic pad (20 sheets for the same price). As far as I could tell the difference is in the finish of the paper – oil pads feel a bit more like canvas, they do feel a bit like cloth – whereas D-R’s System3 pad looks a little bit smoother and glossier.

The staff at Art Friend sucked today. Maybe they were hungry (I went around noon). The weekend people are much better.


Written by krysjez

May 31, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Posted in Painting, Tools & Purchases

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Thinking About Oil

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Today was the last day of school. This means that I am now free to go to Art Friend and buy a box of student oil paints. Or maybe I can borrow from the art room. Hmm…

Swore-Never-To-Use-Acrylic-Again Acrylic Painting (SNTUAAAP, pronounced AAARGH) is getting along okay, slowly, but okay. Well, as ‘okay’ as a painting can be when you’re not really painting, just using the back cover of Newsweek to prevent your hand from smudging the graphite from the pencil.


For those artists who may be on a tight budget but still want a descent [sic] quality surface to paint on, then canvas pads are a good choice. Canvas pads come in a variety of different sizes and are great for beginners who are just starting out. Canvas pads are great for practice or doing studies. Make certain you get a heavy weight canvas pad suitable to hold oil paint.

Yeah. So I think I’ll go buy one sometime.

Crap, this was meant to be a long and in-depth kind of thing but I was watching The Guild and it’s almost 11pm, so no more for now.

Written by krysjez

May 27, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Posted in Painting, Tools & Purchases

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Painting Knife

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My new painting knife: Brandless No. 6

While waiting for my turn to buy uniforms today at Beauty World I couldn’t stop myself from wandering into Art Lab and looking at the paint section. The staffer today was really friendly and helpful, a stark contrast to the staff who were there the last time I visited (a surly fat lady and an equally surly skinny woman).

I couldn’t help myself and bought a painting knife. A bit of backstory.

I bought a Winsor & Newton System3 starter set the other day, determined to make myself competent at acrylics (I have hated them since I first tried painting with them when I was thirteen). So far it has not worked. I mix paint with my brush, which means that the paint gets spread out pretty thin. With oils, this is still all right: I drybrush a lot when adding detail. However with acrylics, due to the larger surface area, the paint dries so fast that I can’t even finish painting a background before I have to mix a new batch. And naturally this scenario repeats itself with the second batch although I am working as fast as I can.

A palette knife or painting knife – palette knives don’t have the big bend in the middle, but both can be used for mixing – makes managing paint on the palette a lot easier. You can fold the paint in on itself to get a well-mixed color. You can scrape thin layers of paint together into a more substantial pile before you use it. They can also be used for mark-making as part of the painting, but for the meantime I just hope it doesn’t become another art white elephant.

Written by krysjez

January 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm