Painting II: Developing Techniques and Styles
Continue to develop techniques you've learnt through palette management and colour mixing, brush loading and handling, alternative application techniques, use of mediums, etc. Create effective pictorial spaces and develop a critical assessment method for yourself.
Materials will be discussed in the first class, so if you are new to painting, you may want to wait before buying all of your materials. Please note that the material listed below are just a suggested materials list.
For the first class: Bring something to work on, either preparatory materials for drawing or straight to paint if you are ready. Bring reference materials for subjects you want to try out.
Brushes: Bring whatever you have. The size of brushes you choose depends on the scale and level of detail you want to work in. Use brights if you prefer a heavy impasto effect, flats if you want precision and control in a smoother paint film. Large rounds and filberts yield a diffuse, smudgy effect. Synthetic bristles are best for general panting in acrylics, synthetic sables are useful for soft washed and blending. Very soft rabbit or camel ‘hake’ brushes are excellent for large washes. Real hog bristles or sable brushes should not be used with acrylic paint.
Canvas: Acrylic painters have more flexibility of choice than oil painters; you may paint on unprimed surfaces, although they will absorb a tremendous amount of (expensive) paint. Some staining effects can be effective on raw canvas or paper, but for most techniques, a gesso primed ground is preferable, i.e.) canvas, Masonite, canvas-board, or heavy paper coated with several layers of gesso.
Paint: Bring whatever you have on hand. A minimum palette of white plus primary red, yellow and blue will get you started. Useful auxiliary colours are: yellow ochre, raw sienna, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, pthalo blue, ultramarine blue, raw and burnt umber, and ivory or mars black.
Mediums: You may want to experiment with the many possibilities available, but for most techniques, simple tap water can be used. All-purpose soft gels and gloss, toughness and transparency to the paint, heavy gels or pumice gels aid in creating textural effects and tar gel helps create a painterly effect similar to oils. Glazing Liquid is very useful if you want to create luminous jewel toned paintings.
- A “wet: palette (if you don’t have one, I will show you how to make one)
- Palette knife
- A spray bottle for water
Brushes: Bring whatever you have, an assortment of flats or brights is most useful, with sizes suitable for the scale and detail level of your work. Real hog bristles create thick, textured paintings, synthetic nylon bristles create smoother finishes, and real or synthetic sable is sued for soft blending. Use brights if you prefer a heavy impasto effect, flats if you want more precision and control in a smoother paint film. Large rounds and filberts yield a diffuse, smudgy effect. Support – gesso primed canvas, primed Masonite or paper, or commercial canvas-board can all be used for class purposes,
Oil Paint: Bring whatever you like to work with. A workable palette would include titanium/zinc white, yellow ochre or raw sienna, a bright, pure yellow (cadmium azo, or hansa), burnt sienna, a bright warm red, (cadmium red light, or naphthol or arylamide red), a cool red (alizarin or anthraquioid or quinacrinoid red), cobalt blue, raw umber and ivory black. Useful auxiliary colours are burnt umber, pthalo or Prussian blue, ultramarine blue, phthalo or viridian green, and red ochre.
Underpainting: I recommend quick drying alkyd white paint which will be used to make toned-ground underpaintings. You will need white, which you can tint with oils, but it would be useful to have a few colours as well; I recommend raw sienna or yellow ochre, ivory black and raw or burnt umber. Underpaintings can also be done with lead white oil paint and underpainting white (aka foundation white).
Thinners (i.e. a volatile spirit: preferably citrus thinner) are optional, most techniques do not require it.
Mediums: my current favourite is a plain walnut oil without alkyd
- Palette and palette knife.
- Non-pilling cotton rags for any contact with the painting itself (ie.: wiping off paint or applying imprimaturas or glazes), paper towels are find for wiping brushes or for cleaning up).
- A small glass jar with lid if you are mixing mediums.
- A jar of ordinary household cooking oil (for non-toxic brush cleaning). You may choose to clean up at home, it will save carrying an extra jar of liquid and jostling for limited space at the sink!