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Paul's Blog



  • BOB73 said:
    Paul and Richard, thanks but I already have all that except for the wedges and I have sculpting tools that perform that function. I was thinking of some books but I'm not ready to Give up on DMP method.
    I hope you post some of your paintings (even if you don't like them) at some point. :)
  • are you a glutton for punishment? I have a lot on my plate right now but as soon as I can get some space to call my own I'll paint in my spare time. I rushed so badly with the last one that it was in-salvageable. Still using my old white plastic palette and incandescent lights too. What a mess. But my 85w 5000k makes a great light to shave by in the bathroom but it is too high for the ceiling in the room I will eventually set up in. Gawd I hate making excuses.
  • It's ok, @BOB73, you'll get there when you're ready.  
    Allow yourself a 15 minute sketch with oils. There is nothing like the smell and feel of oil on canvas and those rich colors, light and shadow. 
  • I'm really pleased with the chosen landscape challenge.  The timing is perfect for me to participate, and landscape is something I enjoy and want to paint more of.  I have a photograph I took in my back garden, featuring buildings and trees.  It was taken late at night, and there is just the tiniest hint of color.

    It will be a huge challenge for me, and I think it barely scrapes by as meeting the challenge requirements, but I'm going to do it.  I begin drawing tonight, and I'll post WIP here.  I don't think I'll reveal the photograph, it only invites comparison, and I want to tweak this based on the feel, not the individual details.

    I will not be color matching against a photograph, instead just using the photograph as reference.  I expect the results to be the same, but I'm going to avoid the laborious color matching on a laminated photo and go with instinct.  It's my only hope of meeting the challenge deadline.  I'm not very interested in mechanically copying photographs.  Done that.
  • Landscape Challenge
    16" x 18", oil on Rustoleum on aluminum composite panel.  This is one of my single-coat rollered Rustoeum panels.  One nice thing about Rustoleum is how well it takes the yellow pencil.

    Just making sure the perspective is right.  The amount of detail in the drawing is misleading, because almost none of it is going to be visible.  It's going to be dark.

  • cool!  A tree almost in the middle - I can't wait to see the progress.
  • Ohh! Looks interesting. Is the 'S' for shadow?

    Did you mix some paint into the rustoleum to tint it that colour?
  • Richard_P said:
    Ohh! Looks interesting. Is the 'S' for shadow?

    Did you mix some paint into the rustoleum to tint it that colour?
    The 'S' is a window.  That's the color of my Rustoleum, although in person it is a richer, browner color.
  • Sash? the tree trunk looks thicker in the middle than the base. A few types are like that or maybe it's an optical delusion. Take your magnifying goggles off now, you shouldn't need them for this one. The perspective looks persfect though.
  • BOB73 said:
    Sash? the tree trunk looks thicker in the middle than the base. A few types are like that or maybe it's an optical delusion. Take your magnifying goggles off now, you shouldn't need them for this one. The perspective looks persfect though.
    Not 'S' for 'Sash', just a wiggly line that fills the space.  Sometimes I redraw lines, and then I can't tell which is the good line, and which the bad, so I draw an 'S' curve that touches all four good lines.

    The tree is wider in the middle than the bottom.  It's not all trunk, it splits into three very big branches about 9 feet off the ground.  I think it was pruned oddly when it was young.  Also, the source material is very dark, so any lines I drew on the tree aren't going to show in the painting, it's mostly a silhouette.
  • That's the light background done.  It already looks wrong, after one color.  Oh DMP, how you test my faith in the process.

  • Looks like an engineering drawing. So far... So good. I get it about the tree. Nice trick with the "S" to connect good lines.
  • I don't know what else to do, because I can't erase.  Anyone know a better trick?

  • Thought I'd stick in my 2 cents on the Mahl stick. The one I use is made from two pieces of scrap wood and just hangs off the easel.  The painting is set back just a tad so the stick does not touch.  The clamp on top can be used too to make it more stable but I've never needed it. 
  • PaulB

    Yellow pencil - pastel- Erase with cotton bud (QTip) dipped in water.
    Yellow pencil - wax base - Erase with cotton bud dipped in alcohol.


  • PaulB

    One more. .... QTip moistened with WD40.


  • Thanks @dencal, I'm going to try those.
  • PaulBPaulB -
    edited May 9
    Good news folks, our friend @Bancroft414 is painting again, and will be rejoining us here soon.

    She says hi to everyone.
  • I miss her succulents soooo much. I went and bought a few of my own.
  • dencal said:

    One more. .... QTip moistened with WD40.


    I burst out laughing only because my husband and I always joke about how WD40 gets out everything - the twins used crayon all over our hall/stairwell walls and after tearing out our hair trying different soaps and warm water, yeppers, WD40 was the magic potion to make it all disappear!

    I honestly believe my Dad could fix anything with the stuff :-)
  • Renoir and PaulB

    My only concern is that any WD40 residue may be hostile to paint adhesion.
    There is nosilicone component in the ingredients of vanilla WD40, but my last purchase was a promotional double pack of a new flavour called Specialist Silicone Lubricant.

    BTW YouTube has videos on the endless applications of WD40.

  • @dencal - and you are quite right to point out the nature of WD40 as solvent... I would be extremely careful about using it on a painting. 
  • PaulB

    I suppose you have these great little fine point erasers?

  • @dencal, no sir, but I will by thursday.  Thanks.
  • PaulB

    Check out the Derwent battery eraser too. Very precise in conjunction with a s.steel erasing shield.


  • Two more things I never knew existed.  Thanks @dencal.
  • No way! Incredible tools, I don't where to find them but I will! Thanks @dencal
  • @dencal ; needs a new name  #plethoraofusefulinformation    :)
  • I just got this.  Clearly it's the liquin for me.  Anyone tried it?  Not sure I like the color.  Would probably be good on a pancake.

  • I have and use sometimes the normal one, I wonder what's the difference.. with mine u can do every detail u want and it doesn't spread because it's tissotropic :)
  • I don't think you need it judging my the last painting! ;)
  • I used to only use liquin but am now using meglip and love it.  When you need fine detail, why not use more mineral spirits (ala MJS) - I remember him saying to use the liquin for larger areas but for his grasses, he thins with mineral spirits and it makes the most perfect fluid like ink and dries super fast.  I wouldn't waste my money on the fine detail liquin - let us know how you like it.
  • @PaulB ; - would this / can this be used with Geneva oils ? - I ask because I have never really glazed, and if my next project allows I might try it out
  • Yes @alsart you can, liquid can be mixed with oils and other mediums too. Since Geneva in compatible with other paints you can use it. 
  • ok @Bobitaly ; -thanks look forward to giving it a go
  • I have not used that one, but do like to use W&N Artist Painting Medium for details and highlights, this one slows the drying which I don't mind. And I also like @Julianna suggests mineral spirits for quick dry results and good adherence and much finer precision when I want that. Looking forward to your experience @PaulB.
  • I just snapped an aluminum panel in half, after it had been primed.  No problems, not even a flake of paint coming off.  Rustoleum does not like to come off.
  • My landscape challenge is giving me problems, I've got three of the steps very wrong, and the result is not good. I need to think about it, and let it dry a little before deciding what to do.  Meanwhile switching to a new, little one, for the fun of it.
  • I never got the hang of liquin, but found Neo Meglip useful...i havent had to use it with geneva paints though
  • I varnished with Gamvar and a little Gamsol.  I did what normally constitutes a thorough brush cleaning in Gamsol.  By this I mean it went through the Gamsol twice, each time with a good 30 second swish and press, followed by "painting" out the solvent on a paper towel.

    Next day the brush is rock hard.  I give it another Gamsol clean.  Next day, rock hard again.

    Switching to OMS, one cleaning and it's soft and fluffy again.

    Anyone understand why my Gamsol cleaning is not working well enough?
  • What brushes are you using? I've read that Gamsol can cause some synthetic brush hairs (Rosemary & Co Ivory range) to curl at the edges.
  • Sable blend.  Should be immune to the curling issue.
  • Have you tried washing with soap and water after using the gamsol and seeing how the brush is the next day?
  • No, I have not tried that.  I will, it's more palatable to me than using more solvents.
  • When I use walnut oil I always wash out with soap and water. As long as the paint isn't dry it always comes out with just that.
  • @PaulB

    Just a few words about cleaning brushes.  When you are in Austin, you might look really close at Mark's brush cleaning system.  You may come away with your own ideas about types of brushes and so on, but the cleaning of brushes often was the reason I chose not to paint many many times.  You don't want this to happen to you.  It was the time spent after a painting session cleaning them when I was already tired from painting.  The deterioration that was caused rendering them no longer effective for the technique that I was using them for.  And, the replacement cost which came much too soon.  Yes, I found new uses for the old brushes but after a while cleaning them became annoying and took up too much time.  Mark has come up with the best way of handling the brush problem for serious painters.  I will never go back to the old way.  You are lucky to have this opportunity at the beginning of your career/hobby to see it first hand soon when you take his workshop.  Cleaning brushes is a real drag on the human spirit and I won't do it anymore.  Just saying.  :)

  • @Summer, I think I already follow Mark's method on brush cleaning, namely, I don't really clean them.  At the end of every day, the brushes get wiped on a paper towel, then they get brush dip.  That's it.

    This particular problem is trying to get Gamblin varnish out of a brush using Gamblin solvent, and one would think this would work just fine, but it seems to require OMS to do it well.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited May 16
    PaulB said:

    This particular problem is trying to get Gamblin varnish out of a brush using Gamblin solvent, and one would think this would work just fine, but it seems to require OMS to do it well.
    In the past, I have always used cheap brushes when varnishing and threw them away afterwards.  I need to varnish again soon, and will do the same.  It will be interesting to see how you solve your problem, though.  Golly, if the manufacturer of the product can't help you with this problem.... 
  • I posted in another thread that Rosemary doesn't recommend gamsol. it has a chemical effect with their ivory brushes. another brand of oms is ok. follow with soap and water. Here it  is again from R&C FAQs:::

    Brushes and Products

    • How do I look after my new natural hair brushes when they arrive?

    • Brush Cleaning for Ivory & Classic Ranges

      After extensive research in our lab, we have found that the brand ‘Gamsol’ or White Spirits are not the best way to clean our Ivory or Classic ranges. There seems to be some sort of chemical within those two particular products that can at times make those ranges ‘splay’ and or ‘curl’ at the end. If you have been using those products with those ranges and not experienced these problems, please continue as you have done in the past. We recommend alternatives which include (but are not limited to):

      Zest It Oil Paint and Dillutant


      Info: It’s an environmentally friendly, non-flammable, non-toxic, biodegradable, alternative to ‘turps’ and white spirit, made from the zest of citrus fruit for cleaning brushes and thinning paint.

      Winsor & Newton Sansodor Low Odour Solvent

      Info: a highly refined odorless mineral spirit that is used to dilute (thin) artists’ oil paints and is also used to dilute oil media (linseed oils, alkyd media, etc).


      Odorless Turpenoid

      Lavender Brush Cleaner


      Walnut Oil


      Alternatively many of the essential oils also make great brush cleaning solvents. Lavender oil is actually a stronger solvent than turpentine. Walnut oil is good for cleaning brushes while painting. Final cleaning however should be done with soap and water.


  • I like this Liquin.  It has the viscosity of Linseed oil, and a new, equally toxic, but much more pleasant smell.
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