Your handy tips

edited April 2017 in General Discussion
I thought it would be useful for people to post some tips on things they've found useful that others can use.

I can think of 3 from me that I use:

1. If you use hot water, soap and a sink brush you can scrub off the dried paint on a palette without using a scraper. This might take a bit longer but it doesn't scratch the glass as a blade can. I've done it for months without having a scratch on there.

2. If you use 2-4 smaller pieces of glass for your palette instead of 1 large piece then you can clean one of these smaller one and have a new area to do more mixing with if you run out of space, rather than having to clean the whole large glass palette.

3. If you really need to paint to the bottom of a canvas or board and your easel would get in the way of the paint brush you can use several drawing pins lightly pushed into the bottom side of the board / canvas and then reach the very edge without painting on the easel.


  • Great tips Richard.  Here are mine:

    1. Regarding Richards first point: I do use a scraper, just a plastic one. Actually two of them, one 2 inch and one 3.5 inch--just in case sand the corners to dull it if they come to sharp points. I too use soap and water, but if have a particularly tough spot--the paint is really hard--I soak a couple sheets of paper towel in water soapy water or a little rubbing alcohol and lay it on the spot for 10-15 minutes. Then take the plastic scraper and it comes right up. Repeat if it doesn't all come off.

    2. Regarding Richards second point: I use large glass cutting boards. I stain the frosted side and the using a flat paint raiser cut off the rubber feet. I can set 3 on my DMP pallete holder. The upper part of mine has a piece of plywood.

    3. Before I purchased Geneva paint. I used plastic pipettes: KINGLAKE Plastic Transfer Pipettes 3ML,Essential Oils Pipettes ,Graduated ,Pack of 100, Makeup Tool,100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

    Hope this helps.

  • 1. Listen to and watch Mark Carder as much as you can. Very often he will mention something off topic that will help you.

    1a. Go to construction sites and pick up scraps of framing and trim to build studio furniture. Plywood too if you can get there before it's rained on. I built two work benches, a dining room table dozens of picture frames and little boxes. Scores of other things too. You'll find all sorts of useful stuf but be carefull where you put your feet and hands and don't do it after dark. Demolition sites are good too but more dangerous.

    2. Store Supply Warehouse has tempered glass shelves of all sizes and numerous other things of interest. I bought two 14"x24" shelves for palettes $6.35 each. Shipping was more expensive than the shelves; almost $25 but that was about $70 less all together than what a local glass shop wanted.

    3. Never leave brushes hair end up till they've dried hair down at least a week. Any paint or medium that gets in the ferrrule will taint your paint.

    4. Brush holders (MC style): "paint" and let dry a light bead of rubber cement on the grooves to keep brushes from slipping or moving around which happens when touching a brush while picking or replacing another. (I'm clumsy)

    5. Do not allow Baby Oil in the same room as your studio space.

    6. Put a piece of plastic cling wrap over paint jars before the screw lid. Push the loose plastic into the jar as much as you can with out contacting the paint and srew the lid on. This will reduce the volume of air that can dry your paint. (Thanks for the Idea @dencal, I couldn't find any marbles)

    7. Don't put too much stock in advice you get from arts and crafts store employees they very often know less than you and too frequently pass on information from a customer or youtube "art  expert" that doesn't really know either. Come to this Forum. (I once worked in a craft store)

    8. Before you buy anything check info on the product at Jerry's Artarama and Amazon and Blick and here too. Even If you can't buy from the sources you can get information and an idea of pricing. But if you do purchase in the U.S. Jerry usually has the best price unless Amazon does. JA had the best price on 5 out of 6 WN paints I needed Am was $3 less for 1 and had free shipping. BTW big tubes cost less in the long run.

    9. Save money by doing your oil sketches and breaking in brushes on canvas paper.

    10. My advice is free and worth the cost. (see #7)

  • I use Ikea Malm dresser toppers. About 10.00 dollars I think.
    Just depends if you have one nearby. 

    I wash my brushes with Lestoil. Best stuff ever. (and I'm not allergic to it.)

  • edited April 2017
    I don't bring food or drink into my studio, and I don't carry my wet brushes and tools into another room while I am working on a painting.
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