Category: Materials

  • “J. M. W. Turner and other English artists of his generation relied on the development of innovative gels. “

    “To paint quickly while creating exceptional texture and volume effects, J. M. W. Turner and other English artists of his generation relied on the development of innovative gels.”

  • The Pigment Compendium on Google Books

    The Pigment Compendium on Google Books

    If you are doing research on unfamiliar names of pigments, then this is the resource you need: The Pigment Compendium by Nicholas Eastuagh, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin and Ruth Siddall.

  • Is Burnt Umber Evil?

    Some time back in 2012 I read Virgil Elliot’s Traditional Oil Painting.  He refers to Burnt Umber as a Problematic Pigment: The author [Virgil Elliott] has all but dropped burnt umber from his palette, owing to its high degree of absorbency when dry, which causes varnish to sink in, leaving chalky-appearing “dry spots.”  It can […]

  • Notes on Neo-Megilp

    The Sunken Color of Discontent… and how to remedy the problem.  Can a change of medium solve this… or is “oiling out” inevitable?

  • Why Your Paint and Medium Sometimes Doesn’t Stick: The Beading on Your Canvas and How to Fix It

    Yes, I promise, I’m really going to give you the solution. So, for all of this fuss about paint or medium acting like “beads on a duck’s back,” it turns out the duck knew why all along.  So did Max Doerner.  Which is a good thing, because if it had been left to my powers […]

  • Titian: His Colors and Technique

    My friend and colleague, the Classicist Paul Gwynne, called my attention to this documentary just a couple of weeks ago: he had it on VHS, but I would have to wait to see it. Not known for my patience, I immediately searched YouTube… but didn’t find anything. Well, nothing can cure mediocre research skills like […]

  • The Drying Time of your Paint & How to Use Cobalt Siccative

    Drying time is something that I’ve rarely had to worry about over the years, mainly because I had the time I needed.  But lately I’ve found it necessary to know more about drying times and, in particular, sometimes speed them up.

  • “Bianco di San Giovanni”

    Bianco di San Giovanni is considered the white pigment par excellence for fresco painting. It is used also in tempera and grounds while it is not advised in oil and encaustic painting techniques.

  • More V for Vermilion & the “Beads on a Duck’s Back”

    I just spoke with the Michael Harding himself.  First impression: a  most affable and generous gentleman.  Here’s what I asked… and what I’ve learned.  Note: I’m paraphrasing our conversation.  I would hate to try and quote him only to have someone call him and say “but I read some where that you said the following blah, blah, […]

  • V for Vermilion

    Much to my delight, it arrived yesterday: Michael Harding’s “Genuine Chinese Vermilion”.  I never knew a 40 ml tube could be so heavy. First Question: just how poisonous is Mercuric Sulphide? More reports to follow…

  • An Artist’s Bibliography

    This post was once titled “Books I Wish I knew About Sooner”, but then I remembered: sometimes books don’t find you until you are ready. Browse at your own risk.