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In the big-picture, I don't know that much about painting. But all that I do know comes from experience. I am completely self-taught, and have learned through a brutal system of trial and error. I'm not remorseful over any of that, learning the hard way  has made me understand the chemical process of painting better than a list of do's and don'ts... I know why I do and why I don't. But I have to tell you that if somebody just told me some of the things listed below, I would be a shitload better at all this crap by now.


For those of you that know everything: you may find this an hilarious companion to my stupid-ass paintings of sainted women wearing bras.
For those of you that enjoy learning: you may find some of these "tips" at least something to consider.

Because I make a lame attempt at creating an illusion of humanity, you may find that some of these suggestions are inapplicable to those of you that have a more progressive style. In that case, steal what you can from me and leave me a note about something I might learn from you. But honestly, I get enough insults from regular people, so don't bother doing that to me if you are a painter... We have to stick together.


If you want to be famous and loved by your peers... Quit now.
If you paint anything even close to a human figure, you my friend, will be considered a hack by the entire art scene. Look around, painting has been taken over by the extra-smart dilettantes. You and your stupid pictures of humanity have no purpose. If you paint because you have Rembrandt chasing you in your dreams and an inability to come to your senses and just "join the crowd"... Keep going, things will change.</i>

Don't wait for inspiration, it's a myth.
Painters paint, dancers dance, singers sing, and athletes... Okay, athletes don't "athlete"... But you get the point.

Wash your brushes.
Those fucking things are more expensive than people know, and they are your tools. You have to wash them every time you finish painting. Don't leave them sitting in turpentine till the next time you paint. That will splay the hairs and breakdown the glue that keeps the ferrule on the shaft. You just have take your ass to the sink and wash them with whatever bar of soap is there. Yes, I know, it takes forever and all that crap... Just do it.

Stop thinking in tone, think in volume.
It's funny that these words both have a musical/sound use... tone and volume... Okay, funny, but not my point. What I am saying it that I find most oil-painters use their paint as a color that coincides with another color on a 2-D reference, instead of thinking of it as light itself being wrapped around a physical mass. I'm not saying that you should not use photos as reference material (I would not recommend it though). But I am saying that if you do use them, you must consider the volume of the subject. Oil paint has the ability to create the illusion of mass better than a photograph, take advantage of that.

Just try it for yourself.
If you get advice from a painter (Like right now) to try this or that thing... try it once. It could change they way you paint. And change is all we strive for. But if the advice does not work for you -- you should knock it off. For instance: I was given a recipe for a medium by a pretty decent painter, and this stuff was all but taking the paint off my canvas. It was a nightmare. But he also turned me on to a nice brush I had never used... So you never know, you just gotta try it and sometimes abandon it because it isn't for you. Learning is what you must do. [If you care, the medium I now use is "black oil". It's stable and very workable... For me that is]

If you suck at it, keep trying.
If you think you suck at painting a figure, you have won half the battle, for your eyes are better than your hands. You can train your hands to cooperate, but if you can't see that there is a problem... You are up shit's creek.
Figure painting has rules. Everybody knows what a person looks like. If you paint a landscape and move a tree thirty feet, nobody is gonna care. But with a figure, if you move a nose a quarter of an inch... You have a freak on your hands. It's hard, it should be hard. How much fun would it be if were easy?

Get a mirror.
The one good thing about figure painting is that you are a figure -- free model who likes the same music you do. Now I don't mean to give the world a steady flow of self portraits, I am simply saying that with a mirror available you can check the way light wraps around the flesh. Then it is just a question of changing the volume in your mind, to have it coincide with the shape of your sitter. I have grown so used to this process that I always paint topless, as that I might have a model available if my sketch or under-painting becomes a question. And to answer your question: "No, I don't wear a bra when I paint."
A mirror is also helpful for seeing your painting in reverse. Eyes become tired and accustomed to something viewed for a long period of time. When you see your painting as a reflection, all the hidden problems with composition and anatomy reveal themselves. It's a necessary tool for me. (I have also found a webcam useful in reducing the painting to it's blurry, primary form... Kinda like squinting at your painting extra-hard.)

Cadmium... watch out.
I'm not going to even suggest that you should not use them, but you should know why you do. They are strong and brilliant reds and yellows, but they are sinister my friends...Be weary! I'm sure you know that they are a poison, but who cares... I use lead white all the time, I just don't eat it. So I don't care if cadmiums are poisonous, just make sure you realize that they are. I find that these colors are a natural "go to" for a beginning painter of figures; they have a candy like appeal in the store "Now that's red! I'll take this." But they are not so good for figure painting. One reason is their inability to play nice-nice with other paints, their opacity is insane and they will obliterate anything they touch. This can be useful in extreme circumstances, but overall I find it a pain in the ass. Another reason for my mistrust in the cadmium-devil is that these colors are not part of the human palette. That one is not an issue for some painters who experiment with skin tone, and to these people I say with aplomb "There is no color that you can get with a cadmium that I could not achieve with another color combination, and in this 'combination' of colors you would have more depth and light reflection." So use cadmiums, don't use them... whatever... Just know why you do.

No more excuses.
"I can't paint in my apartment, it's too small." Then paint smaller pictures. "I have this new job waiting tables now, and I have no time to paint" Then learn to manage your schedule or stop calling yourself a painter (you might be a waiter/waitress). Painters are not born so, they are made so. "I hate the smell of turpentine." I don't use turpentine, so that is a lame excuse. And watercolors have no smell at all, try those. "I have no talent, but I love to paint" Talent? I went to school with "talented" people, and none of them still paint. It's all us fools who would not give up the fight to get better at painting that still do it. The "talented" can't deal with failure. And us fools live to fail, and learn from our failures. Every painting I have made is considered (by me) to be a huge fucking failure. And I can't wait to redeem myself.
If you are telling yourself "I can't", you might want to try saying "I must".

Liquin is crap
Next to my "wash your brushes" rant, this is the best piece of advice I could give a fellow oil-painter. Windsor & Newton's Liquin is the worst medium made. It is an over priced, alkyd glazing medium. You can buy a gallon of an industrial equivalent at Home Depot for like 1/10 the price. But why would you? You are not doing a faux finish on a wall, you are painting a figure on a canvas. Okay, what does Liquin claim to do? 1. It says will improve the flow of your paint. Big fucking deal, so will any other medium. 2. It claims to dry quickly. Now that should scare you. Anytime you fuck with the drying times of oil paint, you have a chance of paint instability. And they sell this shit as a glazing medium, which means that a thin, fast drying film goes over your canvas in the later stages of the painting process. Just trust me here, you don't want to do that. And here is something they don't tell you: oil paint adheres begrudgingly to Liquin. By this I mean that if you put straight paint over this crap, it is in no hurry to stay there. It can be as drastic as rain water beading up on your newly sealed patio flooring. The only way to get your paint to bond with itself is to use more Liquin... Ya see, it's like fuck'n heroin, you can't get off the stuff once you try it. Say NO to Liquin!

Turpentine is not "all that".
I get more shit about this from students of mine than any other thing. For some unknown reason, painters are addicted to turpentine. I hate the stuff, It is a solvent and gives off fumes that kill more brain cells than I can spare. Yet people insist that it is good a thinner of paints. Let's say you are painting in the alla prima method and you brush on a little a turp-thinned paint over your under-work -- "ooops" you just pulled up more paint than you left. (by the way, stop doing that... fat over lean people, "fat over lean".) So what do you use turpentine for? Brush cleaning during the painting process? In that case I would use linseed oil. Dip your brush in some of that crap and rag it off. Clean as a whistle and now it wont fuck up your palette. It feels like you just took a clean brush from the jar. (I know that Bob Ross tells you otherwise... But come on, his afro is the only thing about him that deserves respect.) Do you use turpentine to thin your paints? Now unless you like the effect of removing paint as you put it down, you should try experimenting with mediums (linseed oil being only one of them). Do I use turpentine at all? Why thank you for asking, yes I do. I use it to remove paint from my canvas in a reductive-painting capacity. So I believe it has its place in oil painting, I just think people go ape-shit with this stuff.

Your old work sucks.
That painting you did in school that you love so much... it's crap. Move on! You are much better than that now. You have all the skill that you had then plus the experience you have gained since then. "Glory-day" thinking is for jocks that got fat after graduation. Painters can't romanticize their early creations, for it pulls away their drive to produce truer works from the self of "now".  Do you know what your best painting is? It's the one you are working on. And you can bet your ass that you will hate it right after you start your next best painting. This part is sad but true: There is no success. Your posthumous body of work is nothing but a wake of failures being adored by history. Do you really want to paint your ideal painting? Come on, why would you bother to paint again? Did you not just touch the impossible "truth"? And if you never paint again... Ummmm, YOU NEVER PAINT AGAIN! (That is a nightmare in my estimation.)

I hope these were helpful to you.
And if not... You can't blame a guy for trying.

I'll update this crap every once in a while... So check back later if you want.
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:iconcuv90ves:
cuv90ves Featured By Owner May 15, 2012
is there anybdy out there... to reply to my question
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:iconcuv90ves:
cuv90ves Featured By Owner May 3, 2012
Hey Doc, thanks for being a none salesman, I appreciate it. Even I as a beginner has found out that liquin yellows everything. But linseed oil is just as yellow in the bottle as liquin. What do you think of poppey seed oil. Thanks
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:iconredcatsarz:
redcatsarz Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2011
Ooh this makes me want to dip my toe into trying oil painting, I always want to touch them in galleries, they look so deliciously tactile. I love the volume and texture and the general way they present as a medium but I only ever use watercolor. I think it's because, for some reason, I feel in order to use oil paints you have to be doing something serious/good/realistic and learning adventures will simply look ridiculous and foolhardy, like a sculptor learning with marble instead of wood. I know I have to get over this little emotional hurdle but it really bugs me for some reason, but this makes me want to try <3
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:iconmuselitthefuse:
MuseLitTheFuse Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
I hate to ask this, but what kind of linseed oil do you use? I've read so much material from art magazines saying that only refined or sun-thickened linseed oil is appropriate, and not the boiled linseed oil from the hardware store.

Also, where have you studied? Did you attend an art school?

By the way, I really appreciated this post; it helped me to realize that I need to be diligent about setting aside time every day to paint or draw, and that I can't wait for "inspiration" or "time". I should never feel intimidated by any reason.
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:iconjimpuckett:
JimPuckett Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2009   Traditional Artist
Whoa. This is an old post. Screw it, I have two cents I can spare. I was just trying to find out if there were any more Venture brother episodes out (thanks for that. I love that show. One of the few I am willing to purchase.) Every time I get done watching one I always want to go draw something.
Anyway, I ran across your writings here, though I am not a painter (tried oils once, It was supposed to be a rhino. Supposed to be. My teachers told me I had no sense of color. I failed a fucking color wheel assignment in college, I shit the not.) but they were inspirational and hell, it was funny. Particularly the part about everyone you knew who was talented. I am the only guy I know growing up that still draws. Life was not always that great but there was always a blank piece of paper that fixed most things.
Gracias.
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:iconmikesblender:
mikesblender Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Damn,
That was some smart ass, but very useful advice. More!
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:icontacianja:
Tacianja Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2009
im not much of a painter (sculpting is what i do mostly) but alot of what you said is true you, end up hating what you started out thinking was the best work ever and you just got to move on to the next even though you dont want to and still want to destroy the ugly thing (in your own opinion) thats sitting there staring at you. And the part about if you do art to make others happy sorta thing (probably messing up your words here) is also true if you only do art works for the masses youll never remotely like what you do.
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:iconoh-static-mushroom:
oh-static-mushroom Featured By Owner May 12, 2009
Doc, I'd have to agree on cadmiums as far as reds go, but I'm also having a Goldie Locks problem of finding a red that's "just right." They're either too dull, or too vibrant. Either I'm a jackass when it comes to mixing, or I'm cursed in my journey to find a red with the right saturation to recreate the different shades of flesh.

Which reds do you use? How do you feel about Indian Red? I've tried Alizarin Crimson, but it's too close to magenta. Cadmium's too much... Period. And though I try to work with Indian Red, it reminds me too much of a Bob Ross sunset.

Any suggestions? Am I just being a picky sonofabitch? Or have I glanced over some archetypal "RED!!!" that every painter should own?

By the by, this entry has helped in SO many ways. I was hung up with painter's block (a.k.a. "I'm so.. uninspired... *lethargic cigarette drag*"), and then read this. After realizing that "inspiration" was some romanticized term (probably bastardized by the Hallmark company) it was easier to just paint for the sake of painting. Easier to paint for exercise and skill until an idea came along, rather than mope about how I was uninspired.

I'd listen to one of your ass-kicking motivational speeches any day!!!
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner May 14, 2009
Can't get down on that one. I find that all colors are about their relationships. Any red works for me. It's about "how" works and what its working next to. The "how" is in the paint's properties. Like, Alizarin Crimson is a semitransparent. And Indian Red? That's like a fake color. Read the label, and I'll bet it's a mixture of other pigments. Indian Yellow was once made from cow piss. It was a good glazing color, but had no permanence. Now it's made from other transparent earth tones. It's also a "fake" color.

What I'm saying is that I don't really care about perfect colors. They are all fine. What I care about is how that color acts. I mean, if my canvas was a white field with a red dot in the middle, I might care. But they are so not.

May of my "reds" are really not red. They are burnt earth tones looking red because of what they are next to.

Oh, and archetypal red is an expensive tube or true "Vermilion".

Boom Yummy!
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:iconoh-static-mushroom:
oh-static-mushroom Featured By Owner May 20, 2009
Dear painting guide with fucking awesome hair,

Work with the "how." Got it!

Thanks :)
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:iconleahawkins:
LeaHawkins Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2009
Please note:
smileys in previous post where purely accidental, and should ,as with all smileys, be ignored
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:iconleahawkins:
LeaHawkins Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2009
I got such a kick out of these tips (particularly the less turps as medium notion... I needed to read that!) that the least I could do as thanks is to offer up some tips of my own. More drawing tips than painting, for that is my forte, but they apply none the less. Not aimed at you Doc, obviously you have a jolly good grip on the situation, but more to others and namely beginners reading this.

Lea's tips and dubious theories for beginners:


1. Anyone can draw... it is not a god or otherwise given gift. It is a matter of desire plus practice, you have to want to enough to put in the time it takes to get to the stage of decent work. It is less a gift, more like say, building a table ie: you need the desire to do so, the time, the materials and the right instructions..... then the more you practice the better you get... the more desire and passion, the more you put in ..the better the table..

I can not say the same about metaphors.

2. And this is a big one......90% looking a the subject 10 % drawing(or painting)

3. You're not drawing/painting an eye...or nose or face... you are painting/drawing light as it falls.. patches of light and shadow...
A great experiment I have done with students comes from Betty Edwards ..drawing on the right side of the brain.. [link] she has you print out a pic of half of that vase/face optical illusion... you know the one...
The experiment has you looking at the half of the vase/face.. and then tracing the half that is printed.. labelling it as you go... fore head... nose.. lips.... then you attempt to draw the other half.... a brain conflict occurs. ...it becomes really bloody tricky!

she explains it as:
This Vase/Faces exercise helps each person to experience, in their own minds, the mental "crunch" that can occur in drawing. Let me tell you why this mental conflict happens. First, I asked you to name each feature, thus strongly "plugging in" the verbal system of the brain. Then I asked you to simultaneously complete the second profile and the vase. This can only be done by shifting to the visual, spatial mode of the brain. The difficulty of making that mental shift causes a feeling of conflict and confusion - and perhaps even a momentary mental paralysis. Didn't you feel it? The solution to the conflict, of course, is to draw just what you see without naming the parts.

After this I like to distract my students(without explaining the previous exercise) a while, then give them a second printout of the vases/face... have them put it upside down and re draw it.. insisting they look at is as lines not as facial features.... the difference between the two always amazes them

So basically what is being said here is... apart from 'messing with peoples heads is fun!' & ' understand how your brain fucks you up'.is..dont look at the face as a face(or any other subject you are working on)... look at it as patches of light and dark and its inbetween varients


4. Don't be precious... a fun and bloody good thing to do to releive preciousness is to get a canvas and paint your guts out.... photograph it(thats the bit that solves the preciousness), then paint over it.. rinse and repeat...continuously... works best with acylics for the fast drying.... you wont get the beautiful lush of oil, that magic opacity of shear layers but you WILL get the hang of 'not everything you paint needs to BE '...going over the photographs later... a long time later... can be very educational, enlightening and humbling.

5. There is no such thing as a mistake... well there is, but mistakes are the best learning process there is...think of it less as a mistake and more as an 'holy shit! I wont be doing that again! PHEW!' and thus the next painting will be better. If you are painting/drawing away and not seeing any fault, you are sorely mistaken, there is ALWAYS room for improvement, this never ends ( I think this may have already been mentioned)

6. There is no such thing as cheating... even Da vinci did it. He used a concave mirror to reflect the image of the background scene onto his canvas and then traced it(long theory here.. look it up if you want more info) . There are many many ways to 'cheat'(or 'tricks of the trade';) to get proportions and perspective accurate... consider them like bicycle training wheels... they'll get ya going but eventually you won't need them.(feel free to message me for 'cheats';)

7. Take all advice with a grain of salt, try it on for size for sure- a shitload can be learnt from mere experiment ...but never take as gospel.

I could go on and on... but that shall do for now


All the best,
Lea

p.s Dear Doc Hammer...your concept of bra'd lasses as saints is beautiful in itself, but then how you put that concept to canvas so well just astounds me. You manage to capture a something, an important something in each portrait, that goes beyond (but isnt without) brilliant technique, a beauty beyond obvious beauty. I look foreward to seeing what you produce in the future.
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:iconfingerscreatedestroy:
FingersCreateDestroy Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008
That was honestly one of the best (and hilarious) reads I've read up around here or the internet as a whole in a long time, and I don't even use oils (yet). From what I gather, atleast a few if not all of what you're saying can be applied for acrylics as well, barring any super-specific oils stuff (like the liquin bit, and seeing as you've put it, it really does seem to make no sense to use it. After all, one of oil's double-edged (it could be seen as a disadvantage but that depends on what you're trying to do) strengths is it's slower drying time vs. acrylics, that way you have time to mix colors together if that's what you want). Also, I never even thought of the cadmiums that way, so that was a bit of an eye opener. I'm gonna try using colors other than Cadmiums to get flesh tones, though I've mixed them with Titanium white and Raw Umber in the past and (for what I saw as "adequate") have gotten good flesh tones. Still, I'm gonna try Cadmium-less and see where that gets me.

Hmm well there isn't much more I can say in terms of how truthful these words of yours are, b/c everyone else has probably pointed them out already. I'd love to hear some of your opinions on using acrylics better, that is if you use them. Pure gospel here bro, and best of luck with your future paintings. I'll be seeing them (hopefully), so until then, later.
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008
Mother fucker! Found a way to spam this site with your filthy wears... WHORE!
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:iconzenithzero:
ZenithZero Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
Haha! I love this!
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:iconbunnycumquick:
Bunnycumquick Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008
wow...was given much of this speech(worded in chris speak mind you) last year when my boyfriend made me start painting! particularly the "clean your fucking brushes" bit. we are firm believers in mineral spirits....the turpentine is not our friend(migraines are super suck!) we have serious mirror action in the garage/studio. no i don't want to be famous...i just paint what i love. usually stuff that is in my head. i don't use pictures or sitters very often. i think it is funny that he went to art school and has been painting for at least thirty years and you are self taught yet you both give the same advice! aww you two should be friends. i love everything you do...thanks for being you!
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:iconjillbobill:
jillbobill Featured By Owner May 31, 2008  Professional Artist
I was wondering what brand of oil paints you use -- do you hold one of those fierce loyalties to a certain manufacturer? Thanks.
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:icon29once:
29once Featured By Owner May 15, 2008
First things first, sorry about my english...
I agree almost with every word but it's funny that I only use use three colours (plus white) and one of them is cadmium yellow. About cadmium red, in my opinion, it could only be used in really really really specific circumstances.
When I started painting the man who I was learning from only allowed me to paint in black and white so I could focus on volume. Once I was done with that I could paint it all over again with colors. I think that was a great way to learn... a pain back then but worth the extra work.
You sure don't need this but may be interesting for others. Something I found quite usefull to see if volumes are right is taking a picture and converting it to black and white. You can use all kinds of crazy colours as long as the lightning is consistent. Here you can see an example of this, it looks right because the volumes are done right (just look at it in black and white). And no, it's not mine, is from someone who I don't know but he clearly deserves the pageviews :)
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner May 16, 2008
My sister (also a painter) used to take B&W photos to check her work. It's a good system if you need it. And you are right: it's a cumbersome and costly step.

If cadmiums work for you, I'm thrilled. From what I see of your work, they are no problem in your capable hands. But I think that in general, their brutal opacity makes them hard to work with. There is no right way to paint. I am only giving out some almost useless snippets that I have learned from the act of really doing... Advice from a working painter should always be considered, but NEVER followed blindly.

Your English is fine... Don't worry about it. You were not just understood, you were appreciated.
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:iconstudio-trio:
Studio-Trio Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2008
thanks doc i needed that!
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:iconhettybobcat:
HettyBobcat Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
I found all of this very helpful and I saw myself in many instances. I prefer cleaning by brushes between colors with linseed oil (I was taught to mix turpentine with linseed oil as a thinner, but turpentine smells so bad and miniral spirits burn my skin like bleach!) so I dip in oil and wipe off on a rag. I also wash my brushes in soap and water instead of turpentine (against my teacher's instruction) because It's cheaper and I feel uncomfortable pouring toxic chemicals down my drain. :shrug:

I act like I'm falling in love for the first time every time I go to an art supply store and I walk down the isles like a kid in a candy store (or Toys R Us) looking at the canvases, paint-brushes, good quality pencil sets and paper.

I wasn't aware about the info on cadmiums and I tended to use cadmium yellow and cadmium red (my teacher swore by them) and I was never happy with the results. It looked pastey and unreal... but I'm still fighting with color combinations to find something that works well for me. Of course, I love what I'm doing when I'm doing it and hate it once I'm finished, so I don't know that I ever will find the right color combination! :shrug:

I will try some of your advice and see if I can't create something that elicits some excitement in me again and with the tips on turpentine-free oil painting, I feel like I can paint beind the baby-fence around my computer while my 1 year old plays on the otherside with the confidence I'm not killing out her brain cells. :)
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:iconthee-baroness:
Thee-Baroness Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2007
Im not an oil painter, but that last bit about old paintings and creations sucking, it really helps to be reassured that I can get better as I work
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:iconztlq:
ztlq Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2007
I don't know why I put off trying out linseed oil.
I've been doing nothing but acrylics for a long time, due to concerns about paint thinner fumes. Well, and how much of a mess I made when I worked with oil. Maybe I can work without making a giant wonderful ... mess.

Oh, have you ever used those little tubs of paintbrush cleaners under the brand name "The Masters"?
Just to show what they are... a link - never even purchased from the place I linked to - I'm not hawking their site, I just think it's a good product.
I've only used that kind of cleaner with acrylics, however it's purports to be for use with several mediums, including oil.
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2007
Yeah, I have used that brand of brush cleaner. I like it because it comes in huge tubs. It works fine... Because it's soap. Have you ever used that Masters stuff and a regular bar of any soap at the same time, to A/B compare them? I have. So, I'll tell you, they all work the same. It's soap. Nothing magic going on. Just no perfume in the Masters brand. That's probably a good thing. And you use acrylic. Right? That's water soluble. You could use only hot water and get some pretty good results... Well, if you got them right after painting, and didn't mind ruining your thumb nail...
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:iconztlq:
ztlq Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2007
Uh.. yeah. Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense that a surfactant mild enough for daily use on skin would be appropriate for bristles. Most of them are probably great, since they're intended to condition as well as clean.
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2007
Yeah, animal hair on you or your brush... Same thing. Okay, that's almost gross. Almost!
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:iconztlq:
ztlq Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2007
& Thanks, that was interesting to read.
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:iconcybergranny:
cybergranny Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Somebody linked me to your journal, and I'm really thankful to him.
I wanted to test liquin to make the oils dry quicker but I won't use it after I read this.
You gave me some really good advices. Thanks a lot :hug:
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:iconeriuphoenix:
eriuphoenix Featured By Owner May 5, 2007
Hm, cool, the mirror thing reminds me of what my first drawing teacher taught me - to turn my drawings upside down and look at em to see if they looked off. Thanks for the tips.
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner May 5, 2007
It helps. I've even turned my painting upside down and worked on it that way. The technique works for large areas, and anatomical placement. But if you are going for detail, it gets all kinds of awkward. almost like doing something with your left hand. Well, if your are right handed. I guess I should have said "sub-dominant hand". I didn't because that sounds super dorky.
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:iconeriuphoenix:
eriuphoenix Featured By Owner May 8, 2007
I would imagine so! I don't normally work my pieces upside down, but setting it somewhere and looking at it upside down helps. Not that I would know so much, I tend to not deal with drawing or painting so much. And even then, I seldom make portraits, namely because I can't see how to justify making other people do some of the weird things my mind thinks would make a good photo. XD
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:icontimenorplace:
TimeNorPlace Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2007
yes, my man, yes yes. you said it all. thats funny i just recently wrote something like this for everyone. you covered some things i didn't write down. oh yeah, if you wanna try a new medium, i recently mixed egg whites with cold pressed linseed oil. and it worked! i know it sounds weird, but rembrandt did it.....lol. if you have time, stop by and check out my rembrandt "failures". later
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner May 1, 2007
Dude, I'm not mixing egg whites with anything but my bread dough. I'm having enough trouble wrestling with straight oil. And I saw that you had a "tips" page. My favorite tip is "Just keep working on it until you like it." That is fucking hilarious. Almost as funny as my bizarre, passionate hate for cadmium paint.
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:icontimenorplace:
TimeNorPlace Featured By Owner May 1, 2007
ahaha, then you will never know the ways of the egg. cadmium paints=the devil. eh, i thought about it a lot, and thats really the only thing i could realize i was doing. keep working on it. haha.
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:iconoswalddent:
oswalddent Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2006  Professional Traditional Artist
inspiration is a myth!? Oh my, I guess all those trips to the museum were pointless. I loved your advice, since I'm a beginner when it comes to oils- they are kicking my ass
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2006
The "inspiration" I speak of is the kind that we get see in movies about artists. Ya know, when a painter bursts from his bed and "must" create. And then, in like a half an hour, there is an angry masterpiece on his easel. That is a myth... Work takes a long time to conceive and execute, and most of it is not done in the throws of romantic passion. And when it is done in those "throws", the work is most likely a pice of garbage.

I was simply saying that if you wait around for the fucking divine spark of perfect creativity... You may not get a lot of work done. Going to a museum to get some creative juices flowing... We all do that.
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:iconoswalddent:
oswalddent Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2006  Professional Traditional Artist
productivity versus creativity. You are right- we dont get subjective masterpieces in the throws of passion, only good ideas. Six cups pf coffe and two packs of smokes gets my juices flowin- going to a museum just reminds me why I love great art.
you have great art by the way- and I mean excellent craftsmanship; you take alot of time on your paintings- it is wonderful.
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:iconnowt:
nowt Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2006
It is very nice to come across this, the other entries today--

Nice to see another medium's dis/similarities expressed in strong references to good basics,
and the personal highwater mark proving, in an immediate way, where others might go.

Carry on.
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:icongivepeaceachance:
GivePeaceAChance Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2005   Traditional Artist
thank you so much! :D In my HL art class i'm focusing on paint, and especially oils because they're my favorite (can't stand acrylics, they've broken my heart too many times). Plus I'm a very slow worker, trying to perfect everything until i run out of time. I love these tips and will use them!
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:iconskatermonkey:
skatermonkey Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2005
I found your page a while ago, I think from clicking links starting at Jackson Publick's journal. I read this and found it interesting, but I wasn't painting at the time so I didn't commit the painting specific tips to memory. Now I'm taking an oil painting class, which I started last week. I had vaguely recalled ths entry (mostly about your detest for relying so heavily on turpentine), and I wish I thought to look for it before I bought my supplies. I bought a bottle of Liquin because my teacher said it's popular, and that he likes using it. I just hope I won't find it too difficult to use. Using linseed oil for cleaning during the painting process, and I think I'll be giving that a shot, and if I happen to end up hating Liquin, I'll try linseed oil as my medium, as well.

So thank you for writing this up.

Also, your paintings are wonderful, but I can understand (and relate to a little) the self-deprecating mode of thinking. And I might as well express my profound love to you and the rest of the VB team for making such an awesome show. I eagerly await the DVD and season 2.

Go Team Venture!
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:icon6robyn9:
6robyn9 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2005   Writer
Who do you know who eats paint?!
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2005
Poisonous paint is not an issue if you don't eat it and keep your hands clean. You know that there are people that keep their brushes in their mouth as a third hand during the painting process. These are the people that should know that many of the chemicals used in painting are poisonous. But my point was that I know this and therefore I don't eat paint. Why are you asking me if I know paint eaters?
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:icon6robyn9:
6robyn9 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2005   Writer
Because you said don't eat the paint! I mean, seriously? Any paint tastes like shite, for one. After you've used your mouth as a third hand and got a nice mouthful of red acrylic (I've never done that! :blush:) you don't tend to do it again!
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:iconztlq:
ztlq Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2007
Why are you so vehemently denying that people might do this? And .... Hmmm... and how would you know how any paint tastes? ;P
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:iconxbesbix:
xbesbix Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2005
How do you feel about using acrylic paint as a base and then layering oil paints atop the acrylic as a 'highlighter'? I have not painted with oil paints in many, many, many (x10) years and am more accustomed to acrylics - but I don't think I can get the texture I desire with the acrylics.
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:icondoc-hammer:
Doc-Hammer Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2005
I think "Have fun". Whatever. There are no rules to painting. I have given some helpful advice here, but if somebody wants to paint with only turps and cadmium red... Hey great. I know two people that use acrylics as a foundation for oils. They seem to like it. I have never tried, and I don't think I will. Why? Only because I like they way oil paint handles.
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:iconazurefeather:
AzureFeather Featured By Owner May 15, 2005
Heya i dont paint in Oil becuase i dont have the money or time to let it dry. Instead i use arcylic even though your advice is designed for Oils some of the less technical stuff really struck a chord after a couple of week post exam stress mostly from art i was all ready to pack the whole traditional thing in now more than ever i want to paint.

Thanx
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:iconmelskee:
melskee Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2005
Excellent advice - I don't use oil paints, but would like to start sometime soon. Currently I work with acrylics, watercolours and digitally. I adore the blunt-ness of your writing here too. Thanks for this info ^^;

Love your paintings too! Amazing!
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:iconspine399:
spine399 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2005
Great tips - learned more here than from my art teacher. Learned and laughed - the best combo (not best combo ever...thats probably eating a chocolate mousse with a kitkat)
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