New Year, New Materials

A package arrived in the mail yesterday, something I had been waiting two weeks to receive. Not a big package, roughly the size of a loaf of bread, but it isn’t size that counts, it’s what was inside.

As I rounded out last year, I started creating with oil paints. Taking a course with Lucas Kratochwil early summer had meant purchasing five colours in oil. For a long time, I debated what type of oils to purchase. Painting in the corner of our dining room means the odour of whatever I use will permeate the living portion of our home. Times have changed, materials have changed, and now there are water-soluble oils that are easy to clean up, don’t smell, and, thank goodness, are forgiving if a paintbrush falls off the table and leaves splatters on the hardwood floor…

8 colours, water-soluble linseed oil, together with an old contact lens holder for fresh oil and small jar for cleaning paintbrushes.

Yesterday’s package rounded out my selection. I now have eight Holbein Duo Aqua oil colours and, apparently, I should be able to mix any colour I could possibly need…we will see. So far, with only five colours, I painted the mountains on Vancouver Island (see previous post), Whistler Mountain during the course with Lucas, and the painting at the bottom of this post, Sundown over Chancellor Channel. However, I really needed a couple of reds and another yellow to round things out (I’d had to borrow teeny amounts from my acrylics). So now I have them! I may need to add a mixing medium, and a flat palette would be nice – that’s the thing with painting…there are always more art supplies to be tempted by, and yet, what do we really need?

Well, now that I have asked myself that question, there are a number of things: a new outdoor easel (my current one has a broken leg), a Hughes wall-mounted easel – goodness me! Have you seen those in action. Amazing. Cory Trepanier has one, as does Sophie Ploeg although she chose the free-standing one, but I’d need to sell a good few paintings to afford that. Oh, and a nice camera with video capabilities would be delightful! But, I digress.

Golden Open acrylics, brushes, palette, colour wheel, brushes and all sorts of other things.

Here’s my acrylics setup. There is nothing wrong with this, and I will continue to use it all. I have more than 20 colours, because who doesn’t like all the colours on the market? The soft paintbrushes work equally well with the oils, the palette knives are invaluable for mixing with, and a friend of mine recently gifted me a little round soap dish and soap…my go-to cleaning materials for all things paint. I have a colour wheel, which I have tried to use a bit more recently, and notes picked up from watching videos by Andrew Tischler, James Gurney and other artists about recipes for mixing colour.

So, do I need a second set of painting materials? Of course 🙂 Will it make my paintings better? Perhaps. I am learning more techniques, getting familiar with more materials, experiencing more variety of colour with fewer options and, most importantly, having more fun!

Sundown over Chancellor Channel
Oil on canvas, 20″ x 20″

Right, I’m off to prepare my next canvas and decide on an image. However, I am interested to know, have you stayed with one set of materials, or branched out to try other things? Have you tried the new water-soluble oils? Please get in touch as I would like to hear.