This selection of 'TRICKS' are the things that make my art happen and come alive. Some things are just good brands of products, and some are unique ways I use products or supplies.
CVS BRAND COTTON Q-TIPS-
I love this product to take away paint on the canvas. Nothing brings the canvas back to a pure white, however CVS BRAND Q-TIPS will remove the most paint from the canvas. The more cotton they have, the better. The Q-TIPS also enable me to get a crisp line when clearing away the paint. To see an effect of the Q-TIPS check it out on this painting I used them on the basket and for the Spanish Moss swirls in the basket. People often ask how I achieved a specific effect, and I sometimes tell the trick or sometimes keep it to myself!
UTRECHT ARTISTS SERIES OIL PAINTS (large tube 150 ml)
I love to use these paints. The quality is pretty good. I think they are just creamy enough and they spread nicely. They also do not have too much oil in them. They are opaque when they are supposed to be and transparent when they are supposed to be. They are priced reasonably and Utrecht has sales often. Sometimes there sales are as high as 60% off. Check them out online if you don't have a store in a city near you.
UTRECHT ARTISTS SERIES STRECHED COTTON CANVAS-
This is a pretty good stretched canvas series. The weight is a fairly descent thickness and it retains it tightness while painting. The ARTISTS SERIES has a medium texture surface. It is stapled on the back which is great. It comes in 11 oz. or 14 oz. thickness. Since they have merged with Dick Blick, they still carry this series however, I m not sure for how long? Sales run often, so check them out online.
PLASTIC WRAP OVER STRETCHED CANVAS-
I can't recommend a brand for brushes or even which ones I use most of the time. Since I paint mostly with texture, I don't really need great brushes for putting the paint on the canvas. Actually, I love, love, love to use small palette knives. I've used different brands of brushes. I check them out at the bristles, and I give them a little tug to see if any bristles come out. If they don't look good on the rack, they certainly won't work well on the canvas. Some times I do purchase cheaper brushes and I find that one might be just the 'right' one for the job. They may make a particular stroke or mark on the canvas so, don't rule them totally out of your collection.
I love, love, love to use palette knives. I have a huge quantity of them and I use everyone. I purchased a package of them at Joanns Fabrics for $ 7.99 for 5 different types. I used a coupon for 50% off so I got 5 knives for $4.00! I have three sets..
I use small knives and long knives depending on what mark I want to make. I scoop up the paint off my palette on an angle and I drag it or stroke it on the canvas. I love the effects you can achieve.
There are Liquitex brand palette knifes which are really great and they come in a variety of sizes. There handles are plastic. The other knives I use are a 'no-name' brand and there handles are wood. I've only had trouble with the wooden handles two times out of 15 knives and I fix them with superglue. They are still going strong after 6 years and I am really heavy handed with them. I stroke them hard on the canvas and they do a really good job and hold up well. Give them a try if you can get to JoAnns Fabrics.
UTRECHT BRAND LINSEED OIL-
This is a good brand of turpentine, however it can be deceptive as far as safety goes. Because it does not have a odor, it's hard to know how much you are breathing in. I always try to be mindful of this fact and use ventilation. You can use them to moderately clean your brushes before washing them with soap. Always wash them with some kind of soap and water until the water runs clean.
OLD TUBES OF PAINT-
These are great to use as a drawing stick. After a paint tube has hardened and is no longer useful, open the tube up and let it dry a little bit in the air. The inside of the paint may still be a little moist. ( Be careful that you don't cut yourself on the metal around the paint.) When you want to use it, chip off a little bit of the tip, to reveal the moist paint beneath. You can then use it to draw on your canvas. Works great!
Old T-shirts are the best to clean paint up off the canvas. As I tell, I really do cut up all my old shirts and my husbands as well, into small pieces that I can hold onto. They have to be t-shirt material or 'jersey' fabric cotton. They are perfect for trying to get back the 'white' of the canvas. Now I have a selection in a big 'bag', waiting to be used.
I love to use jar lids to mix paint in when I am using a medium of 1/half of Linseed oil and 1 half of Odorless Turpenoid. I poor a little medium in the lid and mix some paint in it to make a gaze or just dilute the paint some. This way you can just dispose of the entire lid when you are done.
I love to use these to create all kinds of effects. Some are my 'TRADE SECRETS' however, I will share some of what I have done with them. They can be used for transferring paint onto the canvas. Give the plastic a try and try to find your 'unique style and use of them. Experiment lots!!
I love to use a different brush for each color I am working with. (I know it's odd...) but needless to say, that is alot of brushes and they can get really messy with one on top of another on my palette. I also can't hold all of them in my hands! I've tried!! The paint goes everywhere. Well, being the 'inventive' type I am, I thought I could 'whip' up something that could hold each brush up in the air when I am not using it. I looked high and low for something small enough to sit on my table behind my palette that would not be too intrusive and was not heavy. I didn't have much luck at first. only finding wood boxes and wicker baskets. One day, I stopped in a 'GOOD WILL' shop (love them!) and after much looking, I found this wire wrapped rectangle basket that I thought would do just the trick!
Well, I have been 'toying' around with it and all I need now is to put something on the top and flip it over so the wire bottom is on top. VIOLA...I know it will work perfectly! I need to write a post and photograph it so you can see it in action.