For my sister…

I recently sent my sisters a link to my blog.

My sister Sherry being an excellent sort of sister said “I love it!”.

My sister Yvonne (who is way older than me and don’t let her tell you any different) said and I quote..

“About your blog. How about telling people what paper you use, what kind of brushes you use…expensive or cheap, do you cut your artwork with a border, do you leave it on a big sheet, does it curl when dry, how do you display your artwork, how do you send your work, do you matte it..”

and then…

“Have you considered doing a project where you do the same picture but in different medium, you know, for those who may like water colour or crayons? “

and then…

“Okay, I just got why you call it the purple dog…slow or what”

and then…

“But I LOVED your blog. And I love you.”

She’s an excellent sister too. And she has a point. So inspired by my sister, here’s a personal list of items I like to use. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, Dummy is kindly playing Vanna.

The List!

  • pre-stretched canvas or watercolor paper, the higher the gsm the less likely it is to curl ( and no I never stretch my own canvas, too much work for me)
  • tripod or any firm surface
  • paint, I prefer Liquetex or Amsterdam but use whatever you like, student grade or otherwise, it’s all a personal thing.
  • that being said, having a warm grey and a cool grey is great, I always use both in almost every painting as well as my favorite violet blue.
  • lots of brushes, some expensive, some very cheap, again whatever works best for you
  • Sta Wet palette (but a plastic bin with a lid and wet paper towels with a piece of waxed paper on top works just as well)
  • a sketch pad
  • a corkboard with a photo of my cat
  • pencils, conte, white erasers
  • kleenex, paper towels, rags
  • a pink rabbit
  • scissors and tape (in case you get bored waiting for your paint to dry and want to make some cut outs)
  • good lighting
  • a cigar box full of pencils and pens
  • a good pencil sharpener
  • a water container, I like the kind with the ridged bottoms, they get your brushes cleaner.
  • a worried looking elephant
  • acrylic varnish
  • a piece of cupboard lining cloth, I use it to open up stubborn paint lids, it gives a good grip
  • rulers, straight edges, T-squares, templates and other implements of destruction
  • a good reference, either go outside (au plein aire) or paint from your own photo or use someone’s photo but only with their permission of course (most art forums have image reference libraries)

I’m sure I probably missed a tonne of things but those are the basics I like to use. Any questions?

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15 thoughts on “For my sister…

    1. Basically student grade paint is paint that is made with less pigment and more binder as opposed to artists grade paint which has more pigment and less binder. With some student grade paints the pigment itself is made from cheaper materials or chemically composed materials as opposed to real minerals. But some of the minerals are not in use anyway because of the toxicity. Personally I like more binder and non toxic chemicals. Especially since I’ve been known to dunk my paintbrush in my tea. And the purple dog is not known for his common sense.
      There’s a lot of fuss and bother but I don’t think it’s worth fussing and bothering about. Some of the student grade paints of today are actually better then the old artist grade paints. ( sometimes when I say things like that it pisses off “real” artists. )
      It’s all personal though, like men, what works for one is not going to work for another. So as long as you like what you’re using, it’s all good. 😀

  1. Great post! Love the list and the sisters. My sister reads my blog. My brother blatantly will tell me he DOES NOT READ BLOGS. End of story.

    At least your older sister (and I will NOT let her tell me differently) read your blog and had questions and comments.

  2. Ahem, I’m only two years older, yet sooo much wiser. Don’t forget that acrylic paint is hard on your brushes and you should wash them, when you are done for the day, in luke warm water with a bit of dish soap. Then to maintain their shape, while the brush is still wet, brush the hairs along a bar of soap. Gently press the hairs to shape the brush flat, then let dry. When you go to use the brush again, just rinse in water.
    TWO YEARS OLDER…that’s it.

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