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Richard's Blog



  • Enjoy your family.  I am so pleased to hear your daughter is doing better.

  • @Richard_P , I've been using a product for about a month that has made a much noticeable improvement in the way I feel (being susceptible to chronic colds and bronchitis) It's vitamin c but works so much better than any other Vitimin C I've used before. This really works for me and my daughters. I have to warn you though that it tastes like hammered dog crap and used orange juice.
    It's not as expensive here as it seems to be there. Maybe you can find it cheaper. At least it's available there. Good Luck 
  • BOB73 said:
    @Richard_P , I've been using a product for about a month that has made a much noticeable improvement in the way I feel (being susceptible to chronic colds and bronchitis) It's vitamin c but works so much better than any other Vitimin C I've used before. This really works for me and my daughters. I have to warn you though that it tastes like hammered dog crap and used orange juice.
    It's not as expensive here as it seems to be there. Maybe you can find it cheaper. At least it's available there. Good Luck 
    Thanks Bob, but I almost passed out when I saw the price! :o :dizzy:

    She is almost back to normal now. Maybe I'll also actually have time to paint when my mother in law has gone home at the end of next week..  :p 
  • Yeah, I'd have to be near death to spend that much too but I found it cheaper than amazon. If you can find it there at a reasonable price you and your tribe will find you have fewer colds and if you do get sick they will be gentler and not last as long. You might also find an alternate maker with the same ingredients. The delivery mechanism is what makes it work better. I believe this has helped reduce my hayfever and pollen allergy symptoms too. Pine trees here have started dusting already and they usually drive me to fits. Not one sneeze so far. Good Luck.
  • Nothing interesting to add, just prepping some panels for when I have time to paint again.. :p
  • edited February 26
    Some time ago I mentioned a drawing board I was working on. Well I've used it for a few paintings and it works well. It's basically a thick board with a sliding horizontal bar to use as a maul stick. It's a bit roughly made as I cut it with hand tools. I don't have a workshop or any power tools as I can't be trusted to cut off my own fingers.. I'm not very practical and pretty clumsy!

    It is a black expanded PVC foam board (10 mm) with 2 x 'Miniature Bearing Steel Linear Guides' screwed in on the left and right sides of the board.

    I first tried attaching the bar to the sliders on the rails with superglue but after a while the shearing motion of one side moving up slightly more than the other caused the glue to fail. I tried with magnets which can turn but it still happened. In the end I stuck on a raised edge around each slider area so the bar stays in place. Ok, here is what I mean.. here is the drawing board with the bar at the bottom:

    Now if I use both hands to raise up the bar it will stay where it is (it takes some force to push down):

    And here is how it attaches:

    I tend to like experimenting and coming up with ideas, but I lack the manual skills to implement most of them. But this one works well! :)

    I thought it might be useful to others here..
  • That's very interesting.  Can you take an oblique angle shot, so we get a sense of the depth of it?  Maybe just that last photo taken from an angle that isn't directly overhead.
  • edited February 27
    Great idea, @Richard_P!  And no doubt more stable than a mahl stick. :)
  • Now I get it.  Thank you for posting that.  
  • edited February 27
    Terrific @Richard_P, your design here has inspired me toward similar more developed version for painting the smaller canvases, but yet unresolved in my mind at this time. A board designed similar to what you find in the cover pochade box (easel part of box), but large enough and adjustable to accommodate to hold 3 to 4 different small size canvases as needed. I am inspired enough to create the drawing plans. Nice work and good craftsmanship for this effort! If anyone were inclined it is possible to manufacture these for sale on the market, I'm sure for quite a reasonable price. Perhaps feelers would have to be put out there to determine the need for such a product before proceeding in that direction, but looks good from here as a possibility.
  • Thanks all.  :) I'm not interested in trying to sell anything like this. But it's easy to make for anyone here to try. 
  • You be smaht.      :)

  • Oh my goodness gracious - that made me seriously belly laugh!!!!!!  you be funny too!!!
  • I've done a lot of work on my 'experimental' painting these last few days. I'm really out of my comfort zone and channelling my inner van gogh for this one! :open_mouth:
  • I love all of your work @Richard_P - I still can't get over that scene you did for your caretaker - holy cow.  And your portraits!  You are very talented and incredibly generous with your time and input.
  • Thank you. I hope you still feel that way when you see my next painting! :D
  • Well, she seemed to like i! :p

    Next.. I'd like to do something for the sargent still life challenge :)
  • I LOOOOVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE    IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I am so pleased - truly.  I really wish you would do a self-portrait in the mirror in that beautiful, colorful, flowing, alive style - it is like Van Gogh!!!  Wear a hat or scarf like Van Gogh would.  Your bold brushstrokes are so brave and alive - and then, you can switch so beautifully to your fine, detailed beautiful Bouguereau .   Gosh, isn't painting fun!
  • edited March 2
    Thank you Julianna :)

    So I've been looking for a while for a still life photo that grabs me for the Challenge. I don't have the setup / lighting to take a good photo of anything here at the moment. Anyway, I've found a photo I really like. It's not a post 1925 object as such, but I want to try more to paint in Sargent's style for this one.

    I'm mulling over in my head how he would have painted the shapes and how to reduce down the complexity in his style. A lot to think about!!
  • Just taking Julianna's painting off the drawing board to dry. Starting planning the Challenge painting now.

  • I know you don't like sharing your WIPs but I would love to see your process for the challenge.  I'm very much looking forward to it!  I'm on my 3rd "challenge" painting - I say " " because I would have never painted what I have had it not been inspired by the challenge.  
  • edited March 4
    I've been doing some reading about sargent's methods, and studying his paintings. For the backgrounds they often seem loosely scrubbed in. I found a good explanation regarding one of his paintings:

    "The painting is executed on fine linen canvas, which has remained unlined. There is a thinly applied pale grey oil ground, evenly distributed across the whole surface. It appears to be a commercial priming and is similar to that on the other paintings in the series. EDX has suggested that this ground is composed of lead white, chinaclay extender and bone black. Over the ground Sargent has applied a warm brown, thin, transparent priming which is most clearly visible at the lower right corner. This is a medium rich combination of lead white, iron oxide, chalk and chinaclay extender (see technical report, Joyce Townsend July 1998). Above this layer is an extremely loosely brushed, thin but opaque dark paint, applied in broad strokes, often circular or sweeping. The brushstrokes remain visible in the unfinished lower left corner. The warm brown priming remains visible beneath thin, opaque darker brown strokes in the lower right hand corner. "

    To try to capture some of the style of Sargent I'd like to try this for the background. The problem I have is that I don't use solvents (I don't have adequate ventilation, I have a 3 year old daughter and it's currently been around -1c outside). So I've been experimenting a little. I've applied a matte acrylic grey background, over which I've tried different brown pigments in acrylic ranges and water miscable oils.

    The problem I've found with the water miscable oils I have is that to get a thin consistency you have to add a lot of water which gives the resulting brush strokes more of a watercolour wash like effect. Nice, but not quite right for this. Trying to scumble in pure oil paint didn't work either, being too thick and opaque. I haven't tried adding both oils and water with the Water Miscable Oils yet.

    In the acrylics I found that again adding too much water caused more of a watercolour like effect. As acrylics don't have much body compared to oil paint I could take a student quality paint and paint it in directly with vigorous brush strokes. That worked, but the best result so far is when using a fluid acrylic range (such as Golden's Fluid line) either straight from the bottle, or with a few drops of water. 

    So at the moment I've leaning towards painting in the background and other loose areas with acrylics and then with normal Oil paints over the top.
  • Have you tried a little oil with wmo. Many who have posted here say they only use water for clean-up, not thinning.
  • I am going to try that tomorrow :-)
  • I tried a few things yesterday and although it's not quite right it seems a fluid acrylic paint with a firmer brush and more vigorous brushing motions works better than watered down acrylics, WMO's or oils painting into a couch.
  • So today I made a proper start on my Sargent challenge entry. I painted the background area in a light grey with acrylics, then I brushed over some burnt umber in various areas, and then a slightly watered down carbon black to get the kind of underpainting look you can see in some of his paintings.

    I then layered more acrylic on there, and will probably finish with oils when I have the rough background in place. So far, so good.. :)
  • I can't wait to see!!!
  • Still a lot to do yet. Are you entering something? :)
  • Oh! I see you have.. let me take a proper look!
  • Are you putting acrylic over oils?
  • No, the other way around.. :)
  • Can't wait to see your painting @Richard_P . Also well done for all this experiments, this is a real committment! 
  • This is hard! A lot of thinking, studying and practising on a separate panel. I have no idea if this is going to work or not..
  • Ok, you scared me. Guess I need to read more carefully.
  • Well with DMP we are painting as opaquely as possible in one layer over an opaque stained canvas/panel. With Sargent it's the opposite - a unevenly toned canvas/board and painting thin layers over another with thicker paint when necessary.

    You don't have to try to do your painting to this extent, but it's a good opportunity to practice new things for me.
  • I think it's starting to come together now. If you look at Sargent's brush work really close up(especially the paintings he did for himself rather than the more polished commissions) you can see that it's almost calligraphic in nature. He describes shapes and forms in as few brush strokes as possible in flowing marks, and yet when you stand back it looks completely real.

    That's due to immense skill and experience... However, I am trying to paint a little like that for this painting. It's not as loose as Sargent but I am trying to keep the visible brush strokes, flowing lines and abstraction where I can.
  • I've not been around much here since Friday as we switched internet provider and it all went a bit wrong. So only had limited internet on our phones since Friday. Finally fixed today! :)
  • Getting there.. I guess I should have picked a nice simple still life with one or two objects.. but no, I had to pick something very complicated! ;)

    It's a learning curve and is coming along nicely now though. Hope to finish it soon :D
  • Well, I thought people weren't posting a WIP of the challenge entries until they were done? :)
  • If I had posted daily the progress on mine the last would look just like the first.
  • edited March 23
    So it only took you one day? Impressive... ;)
  • Thank you @Julianna!

    It's taking a while to do because I'm trying so many new things in this painting. Things that are new to me are: trying to paint more abstractly (some parts are better than others already), using a less fluid paint and style, multiple layers, glazing to modify some colours, and dry brushing and other brush effects.

    I figured I might as well knock myself out by trying it all at once! ;)
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited March 27
    @Richard_P ; I found what I believe to be the Ideal Juried art show. Unfortunately this is in London and the entry fee is about half the usual US cost (that's why it is unfortunate... for me). I think you should investigate this opportunity and participate if possible. It sounds like a really good deal. Don't let the "texas" in the url put you off, the event is there in London; January 2019. 
  • That's interesting! Thank you Bob :)

    I don't have many paintings I could sell at the moment and I'm somewhat reluctant to start doing paintings just to try to sell. I'm not sure that would work for me.. :/
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