Brian from Oklahoma

Hey everyone! My name is Brian Savignano (29), and I am new to painting. I live in SE Oklahoma with my wife and three small children (3, 2, 7mo) and our four cats. I have a feeling all of them will be painted at some point in time lol.

I do not have a drawing background or anything, just a will to learn and a neverending need to be good at what I do. I work IT for a hospital during the day, and in my spare time I would normally be playing/programming/3d modeling something to do with video games. I have always been enthralled by the art in games and had begun learning digital painting with a wacom tablet I picked up a couple years ago. While I like the images you can come up with there, it just means nothing next to an oil painting to me.

About 3 weeks ago I painted a landscape after watching several Joy of Painting episodes from the 80's. My friends and family think it looks great (I don't), but I feel I cheated. I learned how to do some quick sky/trees/mountain/water tricks, but that's what I feel they are, tricks. I did a seascape afterwards that looks much better to me, but still not the style I want.

I have been watching Mark's videos since then and committing everything to memory before I give it a try, which will probably be the weekend after Easter. I have acquired all of the paints Mark recommends and the majority of the ingredients for the medium (need clove oil and Venice turpentine). I still need to build the table for still life and a new easel (mine is too flimsy and leans back). I am thinking of pricing up some glass for a new palette table but for now I will use two pieces of acrylic that are about that same size.

I am really excited about learning to paint using Mark's method, and working on my own style as I go :)



  • Welcome to DMP Brian

    What software do you use for 3D modeling?
  • edited April 2014
    Thanks Castillo, I've used Maya and 3DS Max, but more Max
  • Welcome to the forum!
  • Thanks Mark! I have watched your Still Life and Portrait From Start to Finish videos at least once each and all of the free videos at least twice, and I am really excited to get started :D
  • Brian

    Welcome to the DMP Forum.

    Sounds like you are afflicted with the same obsession as we all have in here.

  • dencal said:

    Sounds like you are afflicted with the same obsession as we all have in here.

    Guess I ended up in the right place then! :D
  • Hello and welcome. One thought, the acrylic pallets can be easily scratched when you go to clean up even more so if the paints have dried. Glass really is better for the clean up.
  • edited April 2014
    Ron, good to know, thanks! There's a glass shop right down the road from me so I'll plan on getting some glass pallets sooner to replace those. I noticed it was tough cleaning the acrylic after the first time, in fact I think I set that one aside and left it since it was so stuck on lol. I figured I just needed to use something else to clean it up with, or do it before the paints dry.

    Thanks again for that clarification, Ron!


    Update: My clove oil and venice turpentine should be here around Tuesday, one last weekend to get my other stuff built
  • Proportional divider done, still life table should be done tomorrow :D
    marieb[Deleted User]
  • I never thought I'd need one, but I bought one and am so very glad I did. They really do help us find the answers to those critical measuring points. Thanks again to Mr. Carder for teaching us.
  • I definitely know I will need one, lol. My wife finally saw how cool/useful it is when I showed her in person you can use it for not only measuring distances but angles really quickly.

    And an update: too many easter egg hunts this weekend, so no still life table yet, but my Venice Turpentine is out for delivery :D so as soon as my clove oil is in ill be getting my paints ready. I forgot to pick up a bottle to put my medium in though so might need to make a trip back to Hobby Lobby since walmart never has what I want.
  • edited April 2014
    Update: great news! Finally got some family with a truck to go to the lumber yard with me and pick up enough wood to build an easel, a palette table, a photo holder, and a shadow box :D and a seesaw (or teeter totter for some) for my kids. Seesaw came first today, but the rest of the wood is measured, marked and ready to cut tomorrow!

    Guess I can go ahead and mix up my paints tonight with the medium I mixed up the other day, then stain a few canvases tomorrow morning. Should be up and painting in a few short days :D
  • Phew! Got everything cut but a few things that didn't have specific measurements, finished RIGHT before the rain hit :)
  • Cool! look forward to seeing everything come together.
  • Me too! Been dealing with some pain this last week, slowed me down. Had the radiology dept do an xray on my chest and looks like I dislocated a rib or 3 (yes, it sucks! Looks crazy but it's just sitting on the cartilage that hooks to the sternum)

    Still have to drill and put the stuff together and mix paints, but no unexpected company for hours today so shouldn't be a problem :D (damn lingerers lol)

    I have a whole slew of photos sized and ready to print for practice painting portraits, but a still life will be my first go.
  • Some progress! Shadow box mostly done
  • edited April 2014
    Easel with everything but the support braces :D Well and paint of course! Brilliant design, Mark! I ended up going with 2" between the holes, looks about what yours is from the photos. The locking washers do work great as well, the slightest twist stops the canvas holder from sliding.

    Bragging edit: if you zoom in you will notice my shadow box is level, talk about perfectly square, booya! lol
  • Looks like the makings of fine studio.
  • edited May 2014
    @richvinzant‌ thanks! Finally got my paints mixed and shadow box and easel stained, think I will throw up a drying rack on the wall with the extra 2x4s I have and stain some canvases :D

    Edit: found the black stain at walmart in the paints people brought back, only one I could find, almost had to use paint instead. Went with black walnut for the shelf, since I had some leftover from making treasure chests for my nephews (they love Jake & the never land pirates lol) love the color though, probably going to add some more after it dries so it's nice and dark :)
  • edited May 2014
    Got palette table and photo holder put together and stained, and since I bragged about the shadow box my photo holder got crooked, but I can fix that when I make the feet. Also had the bottom to an old stereo cabinet that I've been hanging on to for a couple years (and my wife always says I never use anything I keep lol) that I used as a base to screw my palette table on so I can move it around easily. Only one or two little things and I will be painting!

    PS: even sanded off that back edge so it wouldn't scuff the canvas, but shouldn't have put the ply on til the glue was dry!

    Edit: I also had some wood left over from the sheet i cut the photo holder and the rood for the shadow box from. So I now have a 2ft x 4ft table 18" high, with a drawer from a server rack I had lying around. Pics when I get my camera in, my phone apparently hates to focus.
  • One of marks recomendations is to paint the walls of the studio dark to reduce glare. Some have hung dark curtains to achieve the same effect.
  • Yeah I will be hanging black cloth up in there, and making a sort of curtain I can open back to the walls to close the area in black. Payday is thursday so I should be taking a trip to hobby lobby for cloth soon :D And getting the glass for my palette table hopefully! Trying my best to take all of Mark's recommendations into account :)
  • you only need to have dark cloth behind you, so no glare reflects onto your canvass and palette
  • @savignano You can get very good prices on bulk fabric orders here:
  • Mark_CarderMark_Carder admin
    Awesome! Don't forget to put little feet (small square wood blocks) on your easel and photo holder. Otherwise they will rock.
  • edited May 2014
    @Mark_Carder‌ I have my feet pieces to the side, waiting for me to drill/cut them, gonna have to use a thicker one on the front right of that photo holder though, doh! I'll probably get those on tonight since all of the stain should be dry now, and it's not due to rain here til thurs so no issues with dragging my table saw outside :D

    Edit: Also @Mark_Carder‌, I had a little trouble with my drill eating up my screws, and realized I bought ones that were philips/square head, so my philips bits are getting eaten up, as well as the screw! I have plenty of square bits, just looked too small to me. I felt like a dumbass so I brought one to work to ask my buddy and he said it was square/philips, not just the philips that looks like that. So I have a couple screws to replace in the shadow box now, but glad I don't have to just get a new box of screws!

    @David_Quinn_Carder‌ thanks man! I've been wondering where would be the best place to get a bunch of cloth other than hobby lobby (I'd go get a roll at walmart but ours stopped carrying cloth and stuff a couple years back.) And I do love ordering stuff so I don't have to drive anywhere (sucks living in a small town!). Do you have one you recommend that was a reasonable price on there?
  • rgr said:

    you only need to have dark cloth behind you, so no glare reflects onto your canvass and palette

    I thought he said that somewhere, but closing it in means I can keep my lights in the garage on like normal and just close myself in a makeshift black room with the 5000k bulbs.

  • edited May 2014
    @savignano‌ from the link @David_Quinn_Carder‌ gave you, this is the one you should get . . . . . .

  • edited May 2014
    @Castillo‌ Lol that's funny, commando was actually the one I ended up looking at earlier, gotta take some measurements when I get home today then and see what cost I am looking at :) although I guess technically my space is about 8ftx8ftx8ft so I could guess from there, or buy enough for at least 10x10x8 so I can make the space a little bigger if it's not big enough.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited May 2014
    Commando cloth is good stuff but it's overkill since you're putting it on walls rather than to block incoming light. It might be useful to have a bit of that on hand for special cases, but there are cheaper options for covering your walls etc. Fire retardant fabric is a good idea though.

    If you don't see a cheap roll in the quantity you need, you might want to give the guy a call, describe what you're looking for, and see if he can recommend a cost-effective option. The commando cloth is good and will totally work, and might even be ideal, but it's also relatively expensive.

    P.S. — Finally saw that movie recently and it was wonderfully terrible!
  • edited May 2014
    @David_Quinn_Carder‌ thanks man! I might go for commando on the side that would be closing if it's a great light blocker, but the walls side yeah cheaper the better lol. Funny though that their prices are more expensive online.

    @Mark_Carder‌ would you suggest I tack cloth over a beige ceiling as well? My ceilings are 8ft in there.

    Edit: looks like about 22 yards or so if it's 54/56" wide, so 11 would be commando, so yeah my wife might stab me for spending that much on cloth lol (especially after a camera, all this wood and paints and stuff to make medium and ..insert more shit here.. lol)

    Also, tightened up the screws I had a problem with like nothing with the square bit lol. My Dewalt impact driver (hammer drill) was eating those screws up with that other bit
  • Great! Nice thing to take the time to build the seesaw!
  • @ Savignano,
    I think they make those screws out of putty!
  • If you can paint its by far cheaper then cloth.
  • edited May 2014
    Yeah it is, but I don't have that option in the house yet (rent for a few years then buy type of deal) so I can't paint the garage because I can't put it back to how it was if we decide not to buy. I did find cloth there for 99c/yd that you didn't have to buy at least 100yds of so it'll only be like 25-30 bucks (although I would much rather spend the 5 bucks paint would cost lol)
  • .99 per yard is a great price
  • Update: found cheap cloth in the area, and got enough to put up behind me. Also managed to go to walmart and NOT forget paper bowls! So no more procrastination, definitely staining 4 canvases tonight, and hopefully starting a still life by sunday :D

    Also got my camera in and a new sd card and 3 batteries (I ordered two becuase I didn't think they were sending one, sweet!), so I'll be able to take much better photos of my work, and subjects for painting :D
  • Got my cloth up on the walls, and went and picked up enough more to make curtains to close my little studio most of the way in and got those up too. Also stained 3 of my canvases and set up everything inside the studio, and moved the fluorescent lights on my ceiling outside of the curtain. (Those will be off anyway)

    Only things left now are to cut the slot in the roof and stain it, get some glass monday, and put up my lights at the proper angle from where my canvas is.

    So giving 48 hours for the stain to dry as Mark suggests, I should be on the road to my first still life Monday evening :) Pics will follow shortly of what the current setup looks like :D I am getting stupid excited to get started, as it's been a long time since I've put as much time and effort into something before I get started.
  • Obviously need to stain the table I built as well, but here is what the studio area looks like. It ended up being 8' x 10'. Chair is def not where it would be when painting, and of course my laptop wouldn't be on shining in my face. Thinking of removing the casters from my chair and making a pentagonal base to screw it down to that way I can mark the floor better and I know I won't accidentally move my chair when I am working.
  • savignano

    Great looking work space. Don't forget about some ventilation.

  • Update! I finally had time to cut out and put together and stain/paint my light box. My wife and I took a trip to Paris (Texas not france) and found a few garage sales where I found a bunch of stuff to paint! I have a couple in mind already, goal is to start mixing colors tomorrow evening, will be setting up what I want to paint tonight :D

    Expect to see something in Post Your Painting in the next few days, good or bad.
  • Also, I ordered 5 different pieces of cloth to use as backdrops, weren't supposed to be here until thursday but they are out for delivery today! :D
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