I’m painting towards a new exhibition in the summer (more about that exciting news soon!) and I’ve been thinking about all the different elements that contribute to each piece.
It’s always nice to start new work and as a bit of a distraction, I thought it would be interesting to show you some of the things that I use when I’m working. It was fun to have a go at a flatlay – playing Tetris was not a waste of time!
1 Canvas – This is stretched linen, a bit fancier than canvas. Not out of the shiny plastic wrap yet.
2 Shirt sleeve – This is my painting shirt and I always clean my brushes on my left arm. It used to be my outdoor shirt but they all turn into painting shirts eventually.
3 Sketchbook – essential for my ideas and notes. This one is about fishing but I’ve got a few on the go, and loads of filled ones in a box under the bed.
4 Pastels – These are great for underpainting and sketching. I usually sketch out the painting first with pastel and use white paint to fix the colours.
5 Pencils – for sketching in my sketchbook. Don’t use them so much on the canvas.
6 Airbrush and acrylic ink and Indian ink – I use the airbrush for lots of different things, including fluffy clouds and applying thin transparent “glazes”. It is really useful for layering colour.
7 Whizzer – for mixing up the acrylic ink to make it smooth enough to use in the airbrush.
8 Brushes – you need a varied range for the different tasks in landscape painting. The wide ones, like the Skyflow brush, are brilliant for blending big blue skies. The fan brush is great for painting grass and trees. And the thin one are vital for all the wee details.
9 Acrylic paints – these are lovely acrylics by Vallejo. I like them because they are highly pigmented. And they smell good enough to eat!
10 Plate – I use this for mixing my paint. This one is well-used.
11 Sponge – for stippling and applying texture to trees and shrubs. I also use old brushes for this.
12 Toothbrush – useful for flicking paint to create flowers, water spray and bubbles.
13 Palette knife – for flicking bigger dollops of paint.
14 Masking tape – always useful when you need a crisp straight line.
15 Water pot – for cleaning the brushes.
16 Frame – the final piece of the jigsaw. I often make the frames before I think I’ve finished. Sometimes you can’t tell if it’s done until it’s framed.
17 Varnish – this is good quality artists’ UV varnish to keep the painting safe.
18 Headphones – I like to listen to audiobooks when I paint. It’s nice to have something to occupy my ears while I work. My Audible account is full of stories and will testify to how much painting I have done!
19 Coffee mug – an Angus Grant Art one of course! And it’s always many more than one mug of coffee per painting.
Pretty sure I’ve forgotten something…