Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oil Painting for Beginners - Supply List

One of my students this session is new to oil painting and asked for a supply list. Since I usually teach advanced students who already have supplies that they are used to, I hadn't compiled a list until now. I really enjoyed pulling this list together and found that it helped me get a better hold on my own supplies. This is what I told her to get:

(Please note - a painting surface is not included in this post, since my student already had one. I will write about surfaces another time - that could get it's own post!)

Paint: It is important to buy professional grade paints. Student grade paint contains a larger proportion of "binder" (the clear medium in which the colored pigment is suspended) to pigment. As a result, these cheaper paints do not mix correctly and are very frustrating to work with! The paint that I like to use and recommend to my students is, "Windsor Newton Artist's Oil Colors". There are other brands at the store, but I know that Windsor Newton works for me so I stick with them.

When picking paint colors, you generally should get White and a warm and a cool version of Brown, Red, Blue, and Yellow. You can mix most colors you need from those basics. To start, I recommend the following colors:

* Titanium White (you will notice that there are other whites available. They vary in "whiteness" and transparency. They will be good to experiment with later, but titanium white is perfect to start.)
* Burnt Umber (this is a warm dark brown)
* Raw Umber (this is a cool dark brown)
* French Ultramarine Blue (Warm Blue)
* Prussian Blue (Cool Dark Blue)
* Cadmium Yellow (Warm Yellow)
* Yellow Ochre (This is a warm dark yellow that is very useful for mixing skin tones)
* Cadmium Red (This is a warm red. Please note, the Cadmium colors are very expensive, but unfortunately there really is no substitute for them)
* Alizarin Crimson (cool red)

A few optional colors that I like are:

* Burnt Sienna (Very warm reddish brown)
* Payne's Gray (Dark blue gray)
* Windsor Violet (purple)
* Cadmium Yellow Pale or Cadmium Lemon (These are your cool yellows)
* Terre Verde (Green - generally you can mix your greens from colors you already have though)
* Naples Yellow (Very pale yellow. Careful, this color contains Lead)

You'll notice that black is not included on this list. Most painters find store bought blacks to be too flat looking on the canvas, especially since true black rarely exists in real life. You can mix your own dark colors easily (I like to mix Prussian Blue and Burnt Umber).

Paint Mediums
: To start, I recommend Turpenoid which is an odorless solvent. You will also need a container to keep the medium in. I keep mine in a glass jar, though there are nicer, fancier alternatives you will see at the store. Oil paint and medium eats through plastic, so you will not be able to use a plastic container.

Palette: There are many choices out on the market for palettes. I like the ones that are resealable like this. Paper palette (which is sort of like wax paper that comes in pad) will keep your new resealable palette clean and easy to change. There are many paper palette brands. Chose one that fits the best inside your resealable palette.

Brushes: There are A LOT of choices out there and you really have to find what you like best through trial and error. Here is a good article about the different options. I prefer using synthetic brushes - they tend to be softer which works for my style of painting. Try getting a few different sizes of filberts, rounds, and flats. I also recommend 1 large brush to use for washes (doesn't have to be too fancy) and 1 liner (long and thin).

Optional Supplies

* Sketchbook (for drawings and notes and fun!)
* Palette Knife (we use these for mixing and moving paint and sometimes event to paint with)
* Brush soap
* An Apron
* A box in which to keep everything
* Paper Towels or cloth rags
* Pliers (for opening stuck tubes of paint)
* Liquin (This is a painting medium that I like to use which acts as a drying agent. I prefer the original thickness. I either paint with it straight or mix a little into my turp to speed drying times.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Work in Charcoal


Platter for the Mexico Potter Show. May 13th at BayArts!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Check out the NEW BLOG!

Hey all, my friend Sue and I have a wonderful new blog over at
Check it out!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Update

Hello there blog-o-sphere! I realized recently that it has been quite some time since I've given any in-depth updates on my life ... and it will still probably be a while.

However, Here are a few highlights... I:
* Went to England and France with my mom and fell head over heels for Paris.

* Turned 24!

* Had a kick-ass Asian inspired ceramics show with my pottery buddies (and sold almost everything!)

* Worked Worked Worked - this summer has been one of my busiest times at work so far * and therefor fell off the face of the internet and surrounding world

* Went on an amazing road-trip through Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee w/ my lovely boyfriend.

* Was awarded the Directors Award at the 48th annual Bay Arts Juried show for my painting of the London Underground, "Two Red Daisies".

* Lost ALL of my photos from the last few years :( Its devastating but I am trying to move on since there isn't anything I can do.

* ...more work work work. We are in the process of developing a really awesome program (which is classified until further notice) at the craft supply company that I work at. I am SO proud of what we are doing, though it is a really demanding schedule and I've been working late a lot. The neat thing is that there are almost 500 skus in the program, and a huge chunk of them use my illustrations. SO COOL!

Keep looking for Darice sticker books and other items at your local Pat Catans, Michaels, Joann Fabrics or other similar stores. Chances are, me or one of my fabulous co-workers worked on them! I have done mostly kid's products, like the wood shapes, sticker books, velvet posters, StickerZ brand stickers, etc.

I also have a couple of fun commissions in the work, so look for those soon!

Till then, Take care

Monday, August 30, 2010

Natural History

Beautiful and rare behind-the-scenes look at the American Museum of Natural History by photographer Justine Cooper. Please check it out here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Missy the Missing Cat - Or - Why Never to ask Favors from Designers

One of the funniest things I've read in a while: Check it out!

Copywrite David Thorne

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pascal Campion

Great video by Anthony Vu about one of my favorite illustrators: Pascal Campion. This guy is absolutely incredible and very inspiring. He is also one of the most prolific artists out there. Check it out!

Inspirational Artists: Pascal Campion from Onyx Cinema, Inc. on Vimeo.

Please visit his website.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dr. Sketchy - Scooter Shop

Sorry its so blurry - I gave the original to the fantastic model!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Self portrait for shelly

Card for my BF Ron!

I think i'm going to try to keep posting on a daily basis - even if its random stuff.
CAN SHE DO IT?!?!? ....we'll see.....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Songs I've been diggin lately - I Feel the Earth Move

I love anything Carole King - This woman rocks!!! I just saw her in concert with James Taylor and she absolutely blew me away. At 68 she can still wail and rock out with the best of them. Plus, she spent the entire concert bouncing around in 4 inch heels. AMAZING! I want to be just like her when I grow up

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love this!

RIP Harvey

Harvey Pekar Died today

Its a sad day for the world of comics and for Cleveland.
"He's the soul of Cleveland," Crumb told The Plain Dealer in 1994. "He's passionate and articulate. He's grim. He's Jewish. I appreciate the way he embraces all that darkness."

I don't really know what to say about this. The one time I met the man, he was honestly a bit of a jerk. But if he wasn't, he wouldn't have been Harvey Pekar. So its ok. I was really excited to meet him, and he sort of shut down in response... oh well... At least I did get to meet him. And i got to to a portrait of him (above). I am a lucky girl.

I love his comics, I love that he collaborated with so many incredible people. I love the movie. How amazing is it that his life story is recorded and published for everyone to read? He will live on. Not many people are that lucky.

RIP, Harvey. You will be missed. You meant a lot to a lot of people.

Its weird to think that I now live in a world where there will be no more American Splendor...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Painting Workshop

This weekend I had the privilege of attending a painting workshop by Cleveland's own legendary artist Mary Deutschman . The workshop was a birthday gift from my lovely boyfriend, Ron.

Good times were had by all (despite a little rain). I picked the most difficult subject I could find and... had a difficult time. But I learned a lot, which was the important part.

I want to finish my painting (I took nice reference photos), but its hard to get motivated. Maybe once I start working in oils more regularly. We shall see...


This was my 100th post!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ooo La La!

I leave for my Euro-trip in only 2 days!!!!
Couldn't be more excited

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

exciting news!

I entered my portrait of Kayla (who is my boyfriend's sister and was our roommate for several months) into a Juried show here in northern Ohio and not only did it get in.... I won a Jury award!!!! I couldn't be more thrilled, especially considering that the painting was in very good company with work by amazing local artists.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sketchy.... Tuesday?? Ugh, I give up

Ok, so not exactly on schedule, here is this week's drawing:

Colors done in Illustrator (and kinda unfinished... I forgot about a few details)

There is a story behind this.... but it is a little too geeky than I'm willing to admit.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A little Eye Candy... (also, Guys and Dolls)

Oh... my... goodness.... I think I was born in the wrong Decade

I rented and watched the 1955 version of Guys and Dolls last week and found myself entirely enchanted with it - largely due to 31 year old Marlon Brando's performance as lovable gambler Sky Masterson. How come nobody told me before about Marlon Brando??? and what he used to look like????? I found myself quickly falling for a man that was born over half a century before me (never mind that he has been dead for six years). I know I have seen Streetcar in high school, but did I just not notice? How could I?

Anyway, Guys and Dolls was an absolute treat. The songs are great, the set is beautiful and Ol' Blue Eyes is in it. There is really nothing to argue about. There are also amazing performances by Jean Simmons, Vivian Blaine, and Stubby Kaye as Nicely-Nicely. Lovely Jean Simmons - who only just passed away a few days ago - was especially wonderful as conservative Mission Sargent Sarah Brown and her performance of "If I were a bell" is not to be missed.

My Favorite, however, was the show's hallmark song, "Luck be a Lady" performed by Brando (not Sinatra as I had assumed). He brings a kinda flavor to it that adds so much. The sewer set is really cool as well.

Go see it, NOW! Tell me what you think, though I know you'll love it!
Anyone have any other recommendations of movies you think I'll like from this era? Anyone?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Name is Inigo Montoya.... you killed my Father... prepare to DIE!

Ok, So I LOVE the Princess Bride. I must have seen it dozens of times, but it never fails to make me happy. I wrote papers on it in high school, have read the book and it is just one of those movies that everyone always loves.

This, I think, justifies the fan art kick I am on.

Feel free to post with your favorite quotes... I know you want to

Ahem... "Does anybody want a peanut?"

Dropping the Ball

Ok... so maybe posting sketches on Sundays is harder than I thought.
I will try to stick to the routine from now on, but to make up for it, here are a few of my latest:

I seem to be on a bit of a fantasy kick...

This sketch above is only really explained if you go here and witness one of the best scenes ever filmed.

This is Cheery Littlebottom from Discworld with... um... what appears to be R2D2...

I will post some more later :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sketchy Sund... er... Friday....... whoops, where the heck did this week go?

SO.... these are some sketches... and it is definitely not Sunday... Oops.

Sorry everyone, this was a crazy whirlwind of a week! To make up for it, here are not 1, not 2, but 3 sketches for you viewing pleasure, straight out of the ole' picture book (and painted with coffee).

This time around, my pottery class is focusing on creating ceramics inspired by Asia for our annual spring show. Everyone is creating beautiful vases, dishes, rice bowls, tea sets, and so many more things. I, however, am finding myself developing a deep obsession with Sumo Wrestlers and Geisha Girls...

These pictures are really studies for future ceramic pieces. I am most excited about the sumo wrestler, just because I think that they are hilarious in the whole and will be awesome in clay. I actually started putting one together yesterday in class, so I'll let you know how that turns out!

On a side note, My new favorite place is a little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Strongsville called "the relaxing room". It has just opened and has delicious coffee that is inexpensive and padded booths that I loose hours in every week. It is my quiet time to draw in my sketchbook, and I cherish every minute I spend there. Owner Nate makes a mean cup of Joe too (um... by "mean cup of joe" I mean my usual gingerbread soy latte ;) What can I say?! I like sweet girly drinks! So Sue me!!).

Anyway... it is really fun to paint with the coffee and Nate asked if I would contribute some work to decorate the walls! Hmm.... I think its about time to develop a deep obsession with coffee and switch gears to make some beverage inspired work!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Feature Interview

Hey Everyone! I Have super exciting news....
Crazy talented Ceramic Jen has featured me on her blog!!!!!!
Please go here to check it out and send her some love.
It is a really long awesome interview!

Annnnndddd.... cause I promised pictures, here is one of Ivan the Cat:


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mika Submarine

Cleveland Handmade

I am thrilled to say that I am now a member of the Cleveland Etsy Street team!

Check us out here
We have a lot of great stuff going on

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How do you know what necklace length is right for you?

Ivy Presho posted a fantastic little article on her blog, distictlyivy, about the different lengths of necklaces and how to tell what is what.

(shown here is the princess length)

I thought it was really helpful and interesting! Please go to check it out here.

Thanks Ivy!!