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Old 04-08-2012, 10:25 PM
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evan3585 evan3585 is offline
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Newbie questions

Im not new to art in general but only done a few oil painting in my life and need some advice. I bought this kit on Amazon (Search Royal & Langnickel Oil Color Easel Art Set with Easy to Store Bag)and will have it soon. Sorry cant post links yet. My first post
I know its not a pro kit or anything.Hopefully its not too bad quality. I dont have a lot of money right now and just got that for now for practice till I get better.
I need help on learning the classic method of painting like Da Vinci where its done in layer. Looking for realistic paintings. All I have ever really painted was landscapes with acrylics. What is confusing to me is the mixing and what I need. The kit comes with linseed oil but Ive also heard of linseed oil mixed with a solvent? and if so what solvent? What ratio should I mix of it all together? When I do a layer and let it dry I have to make the next layer with less linseed oil?
The whole chemical thing is what is driving me crazy and it seems any training video or book I get is different and I just dont know what to do.

Update: Learning a lot here! I found this a article on "Glazing with Oils" but I cant afford all those different kinds of mediums. The artist is using all kinds. I need to know the simplest and most effect way of glazing without doing all that. Im not looking to be a pro artist but do want to try decent classic style paintings. Thanks

Last edited by evan3585 : 04-08-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:01 PM
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libby2 libby2 is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

Hi, just get some odorless mineral spirits (I use Gamblin) and mix with linseed 50/50. Have fun, and welcome to WetCanvas!
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:14 PM
DaveGhmn DaveGhmn is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

Welcome to WetCanvas.

You're off to quite an adventure, but you might want to soft-pedal the multi-layer painting approach until you get a feel for brushes and oil paints in general. The 12-ml. tubes that come with the set unfortunately are tiny and more unfortunately won't tell you what pigment is used in which color. That's a consideration when it comes to mixing colors.

If you stick with it, it won't be long before the 12 ml tubes are far too small. Soon, 37ml tubes become too small, and you'll be buying 170 and 200 ml packages...

As for mediums, many painters don't use mediums at all, though most academic painters (who try to avoid visible brush strokes and so need thin paint) use more or less complex mediums.

At the beginning, the simplest medium is straight linseed oil. The next step up, which many artists of the 20th and 21st Centuries use, is some simple ratio of linseed to either turpentine or odorless mineral spirits, most often 1:1.

Once you move to more complex mediums, you'll find plenty of formulas that will drive you even more crazy with the "chemical thing." The simplest thing is to pick your master and use what the master uses. Some masters feel that ordinary art materials are too modern and opt for lesser-known materials, which generally adds expense to the equation.

Indeed, every book and DVD will give you a different take on the discipline. There's almost no way out of this maze without your own, personal experimentation and eventual adaptation of the techniques that work best for you.

If you want a good, basic curriculum, it's hard to beat the one put together by Barry John Raybould at his Virtual Art Academy. He has very good introductory videos of each step of his curriculum which you can watch to get a sense of the progression: http://www.virtualartacademy.com/

I am not a student of this online Academy, though if I had the disposable income, I would be. But that's not the point -- the point is that every element that counts for something in learning how to paint is somewhere in that academy's curriculum.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:09 AM
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evan3585 evan3585 is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

Thanks for all the info!! Ill use just linseed oil for now. Is that all I need? What should I use to clean my brushes? Linseed or turpentine maybe?
My main problem I would say is money. Then the chemical thing lol. I have no job right now and could barely afford the $36 kit. I know oil painting isnt cheap but I cant help it maybe Ill steal it Van Gogh style. Just joking
I really want to start off with multi layer but guess I better not rush it. Maybe Ill experiment with multi layers after one or two paintings.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:56 AM
DaveGhmn DaveGhmn is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

With money that tight... well, let me backtrack, then. You say in your OP that you've done more than a bit of art. The layer approach requires good drawing -- if you draw well, and if your acrylic experience has given you a lot of brush time, then why not start with that?

Search here for demos by wfmartin, Bill Martin, who is a master at the grisaille - color glazing technique. The search function in the forum is not so hot -- try the "site" keyword in google... demo wfmartin site:www.wetcanvas.com

Meanwhile... I am terminally cheap, a founding member of Team Cheap, so read on.

Traditional cleaning would be with odorless mineral spirits. Artist's turpentine is expensive and toxic. OMS from a home improvement store is cheap. It will be (possibly) slightly less refined than artist's OMS, which is too expensive for what it is. Don't breathe its vapors any more than you have to.

Alternately, and non-toxically, you can clean in supermarket safflower oil following by gentle soap-and-water. I would use whichever Dawn product is used for oil spill remediation... sorry, I don't know which that is and my supermarket has 5-6 different Dawn formulations.

Let the brush dry thoroughly before using with oils again.

If you're in the US and further, if you're near a Michael's or A.C. Moore, sign up for email coupons from them. At least once a month, each one issues a 50% off coupon. Moore even recently had a 55% off coupon. Each chain honors the coupons of the other here in Massachusetts.

The ultimate Team Cheap palette is 4 colors, the European primary colors: "cyan" (more on that in a second), magenta, lemon yellow and white. These will mix into any color you want. Most European color brands have these primaries. Jerry's Artarama sells several low-cost lines that are regularly on sale. My own choice is Lukas Berlin water-mixable paints, when on sale, under $3 for 37 ml (plus shipping & handling).

HOWEVER, cyan is a special case. Most European brands sell a tube marked "cyan" or "primary blue," but it is phthalocyanine blue PB15:3 plus white. This makes dark colors impossible. You really want just plain phthalocyanine blue PB15:3. It is a VERY STRONG, staining pigment. A 36 ml tube lasts a LONG time. The strength of the pigment is why the brands add white, to prevent school kids from mixing disaster.

For painting supports you can use (in order of increasing cost) "gesso" coated paper or shirt cardboard; "gessoed" hardboard (Masonite); pre-primed canvas pads; pre-primed cheap stretched canvas. In place of artist's gesso, you can use so-called latex house paint. It's actually acrylic paint, and most gessoes are acrylics. Flat (matte) is much better than glossy or semi-gloss.

Again, if you're in the US, sign up for your local Freecycle and use the WANTED function to get free house paint... sometimes even canvases and other art materials. At the same time, monitor the group for any OFFERs of things you need, not just art supplies. http://www.freecycle.org/ It can be frustrating, since you have to act instantly on high-value OFFERs or you miss out.

For brushes, Jerry's Artarama has a mega paint and brush sale once a month. Again, sign up for email notification. The house brand Creative Mark Pro Stroke Premium White Bristle and the same brand's Pro Stroke Powercryl brushes are actually quite nice. A set of 5 of the former on sale is under $8, the latter under $10, plus S&H.

Powercryls go to a sharper knife edge, but are not as stiff as the bristles. Just get flats and possibly one set of rounds if you're going to paint small details. The flats soon wear into filberts.
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Judging a Manet from the point of view of Bouguereau, the Manet has not been finished. Judging a Bouguereau from the point of view of Manet, the Bouguereau has not been begun.
--Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:06 AM
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Carcharhinus Carcharhinus is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

Just a quick one:

I'm a beginner like you OP, and I'm really against using solvents. They make my head spin, and I've so far only been using them for brush cleaning because nothing else will shift that Michael Harding Venetian Red.

From the painting I've done thus far, I can't really see how I would need them. (Although I haven't tried them much in all honesty)

I'm currently using refined linseed, linseed stand sometimes, and W&N's liquin in small amounts.

So just letting you know that it can be done without solvents and I'm sure a lot of people manage it.

N.B: I paint alla prima. Which is different to your planned style. I can actually see how a solvent could help you though. It seems a lot more suited to layering. My advice is try it with a solvent and try it without. Go for odourless mineral spirits. You might find, however, that you don't need it at all.

Edit: Also, do a search for the 'student palette' here on wetcanvas. Llawrence has a few good posts to follow.

Essentially a student palette is a limited palette of an earth red, and earth yellow, a black and a white. You can mix pretty much anything from it with some careful manipulation. It's what I've been using and I really think it's helping me. My palette is:

Michael Harding Venetian Red
Michael Harding Ivory Black
W&N Titanium White
W&N Yellow Ochre

I also have a Michael Harding Raw Umber for initial roughing in/underpainting. You mix greens and blues from the black. Granted they're not 'true' greens and blues, but within the overall palette of your image they work. Those, all in 37ml tubes would cost me under £20 here in the UK. If I could choose again, I'd pick a less red red but aside from that it's all good. I also supplemented my palette with a few more colours that I'm yet to use in any big capacity.

Last edited by Carcharhinus : 04-09-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:00 AM
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evan3585 evan3585 is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

Thanks for all the info! Wow that is good stuff
I have a Amazon gift card of $20 so wondering a few things. I got lots of cardboard and would like to use that as canavs if they work good and need some ideas of what gesso acrylic to buy there.
This will help me so much. Going to do some searching right now.

Last edited by evan3585 : 04-10-2012 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:50 AM
Ribera Ribera is offline
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Newbie Questions

4/08/12, Quotes from Evan:
but I've also heard of linseed oil mixed
with a solvent?

Linseed oil is the oil in most paint, how-
ever, in places, ya may opt to make the
paint fatter by adding more, and one
throws solvent into the medium to make
the paint more miscible.
Also, any oil straight will make the dry
paint too glossy.
and if so, what solvent?
Artist's turpentine will suffice, however,
oderless mineral spirits are safer, and
unless you're medium has damar in it
(which, in fact, requires the stronger
turpentine to break down, you ought
use instead).
When I do a layer and let it dry I have
to make the next layer with less linseed
oil?

Actually, the truth's the exact contrary;
the "fat over lean" maxim: One ought
only layer fatter paint over leaner, be-
cause, obviously, oilier paint'll dry more
slowly, and as it's underneath, i.e.
supporting leaner (sooner dry) paint, it'll
crack.
That's like building a magnificent sky-
scraper on a lousy foundation; great
as it may be, in time, it must collapse.
Of course, one may paint with paint of
the same oiliness over prior layers.
r
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:22 PM
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evan3585 evan3585 is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

Thanks. you have answered some important question I had.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:22 PM
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evan3585 evan3585 is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

I think the last thing that confuses me is when using linseed oil how am I to know how much or how less I used on the previous layer. Maybe someone could give me an example of a layered painting they have done and there mixing process. By the time I do the first layer and wait till it dries I might have forgotten how much I need to add on the 2nd layer. Then 3rd and so on. I hope that makes sense to what Im trying to say.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:16 PM
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karenlee karenlee is online now
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Re: Newbie questions

Two ideas--(1) painting on a budget is a good reason to start with three primary colors in the best paint you feel is within your budget. (2) You need to use very little linseed oil-- just enough to get the paint to spread properly. If you consistently use as little as possible you will be fine.
You can clean bristle brushes and synthetic brushes with Lava soap; it's an inexpensive bar soap you can buy at the grocery store. One can use a scraper to clean one's palette and wash that down with soap also.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:25 PM
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querin querin is offline
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Re: Newbie questions

You can use linseed oil to clean the most part of the paint off the brushes then one can use Masters brush cleaner or even a bar of household soap to clean brushes .I use a tiny amount of Liquin the fine layers dry over night.
Baby wipes a great to clean brushes & hands also in between color changes on the brush.Orderless stuff is just as dangerous as the regular turps you can't smell it as much but the danger is there.With pigments I use cool and warm of each of the primaries +white many colors can be made from these.
querin

Last edited by querin : 04-11-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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