1. PALETTE, BRUSHES, CANVAS ETC.
Of course if you want to start a painting you should have good or perfect materials. Or you with have to fight with them. You need a well stretched canvas, different brushes: soft, hard, long and short, animal hair and synthetic. Let’s talk more about every of these things. I recomend a wooden palette of enough big size – I would choose at least 30×40 cm, but 40×50 is better because you can have a lot of space to mix colours and compare them on the palette, not in your mind. Look at the photo-this is a good wooden palette for professionals. Palettes are round or square – choose what you like. I prefer square – more space for paints.
I also tell you to cover your pallete with varnish – then it will not take oil from paints. You also can cover it with oil – but you have to do it at least 6-7 times because a palette should absorb oil. So a varnish is faster.
Well, now your palette is ready to use.
Brushes should be different sizes and shape – round and flat. Usually artists use animal
hair brushes, now synthetic brushes are popular as well. You need different numbers from small (for details) to big (for big spaces as backgrounds). I prefer flat animal brushes, synthetic rarely – kolinsky for small details.
The main thing for canvas is to be stretched well. More about canvases in the next article.
2. TEACHER. Of course if you have an artist who could help you with a couple of advices – that’s very good. Feel free to ask for advices of painters – probably they have more experience that you need. I am sure they will be happy to help you.
3. OLD MASTERS. I would recomend to pay attention to old masters or just paintings that YOU like. For example, if you really like still lifes by an artist you can try to paint one like he did and learn a lot of methods how to paint and how to use paint texture for example, You will also understand how to compose objects in the canvas. You will get a lot of EXPERIENCE that the artist collected! Yes, I beg to use the experience of previous generations. No need to invent a bike again.
4. ADVICES. Feel free to listen to opinions of people around you – even if they are not painters. They can help a lot. They have another mind and worldview than painters have. Your friends or family can give you really fresh ideas or valuable advices – so can listen.
5. FEAR. That is what can prevent you in development. Fear can say to yoy that “you can’t”. Please, do not believe. You can. You know that you can. The most powerful advice of mine is to do, to act and stop worring. If you want to paint – do that. Nobody can stop you, only yourself.
First, thank you for the resources you have put forth. They have been immmensely helpful in my own learning. Onw question I have is, how do you keep your colors from mixing into mud on the canvas? Your paint seems to keep its color quality and produce clear edges. What medium do you use to generate this quality to your paint on canvas?
Thanks Brent. I use very little medium. .. usually it is pure dammar varnish ..