This will be about my views on what it takes to put a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface. With a lot of digressing.
Don't forget to leave a comment, or a question if you have one, below the post. Thanks.


Jul 13, 2009


I'm probably the last person to advise on how to save money on art supplies. When I sell a painting the first thing I do is take stock, and if I don't have it, and may need it within my lifetime, or even beyond, I buy it.

I'm glad now, because the mongoose brushes I bought last week not only cost more but are skimpier than the ones I bought a few years ago, same size, same brand. Another change is "mongoose like". It's Read the Small Print time, which is why the catalogs come in handy.
Most of the time I hang a painting on the wall to work on it; and maybe a second on an easel. Which is fine for big stretched canvases. But I occasionally work on boards or small paintings and find it frustrating to keep either one stable on an easel made for big paintings, especially if you don't want to sit down while painting. So I blew the cobwebs out of my lovable, adorable and most of the time, useless, french easel. Low and behold, it's perfect. But in the cheap tricks category, it's not.

All of you plein air painters -and you seem to be multiplying exponentially-are experts at setting up french easels, but I was thankful that no one was around to watch me. I'm going to leave it set up. I can't go through that again.

GOLDSMITHS INLET Stage 1 Oil on Panelli Board Margery Caggiano

This is a suggested list of necessary supplies for painting in oils on a budget.

Supports: Gesso primed watercolor paper, cardboard, or 1/4 " Masonite. A place like Lowes or Home Depot will cut Masonite to size. Make sure it's Untempered(oil free). Also seal both sides before gessoing to prevent warping.
Palette: Plate glass taped over neutral grey cardboard- or a disposable pad.
Brushes: Bristle or mongoose, better to have 3 good ones than 6 cheap ones. Try round and filbert shapes. You can gesso with a sponge.
Brush and hand cleaner: Goop, available in hardware store.
General cleanup and medium: Low odor mineral spirits, quart. Available in hardware store.
Refined linseed Oil, small bottle. Dammar Varnish, small bottle.
Paint: (Don't buy "student "grade. Don't buy "hues") large Titanium White,-Ivory Black,-Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna,- Yellow Ochre,-Cobalt Blue,-Ultramarine Blue,- Alizarin Crimson,- Cadmium Red Med.,-Cadmium Yellow Med.
Make Your Own Medium: Use a glass, not plastic, jar with a lid. Mix 1 part dammar Varnish, 2 parts Linseed Oil, 3 parts mineral spirits. For slower drying, eliminate the dammar varnish.
Make Your Own Retouch Varnish: If the painting is dull and dry. Use a glass jar. Mix dammar varnish and mineral spirits 50/50.
If you are a beginner, you can learn a lot by starting with the first five colors, which are also the least expensive. Then add others one at a time.
The books say to lay out every color you have, and even suggest an order. But a beginner will use them all and end up with mud. Then they'll dry out. Look at Andrew Wyeth's paintings, (even though they're egg tempera.) for what can be done with a relatively limited palette.

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