Painting Update: Jerry Reading

October 7, 2018

Other chores got me pulled away from the painting for a few days, but I managed to at least work on his face this afternoon. It looks like him, so that’s always a good sign.

I’m liking the rough sketchiness of this so far, so I’m hoping I can keep that without getting carried away with details as I tend to do. I’m losing love for his yellow pillow, however.


New Painting Started: Jerry Reading

October 1, 2018

I’m starting a new gouache painting of my friend, Jerry, who posed for me awhile back as he caught up on some reading. The surface is surface is 13 x 19 inch gray Binder’s Board.

pencil sketch on newsprint

I began with a rough pencil sketch on newsprint. I then rubbed gray pastel chalk on the back to transfer it to the board, tracing just the outline shapes.

initial painting stage with undertones

I started to set the values on the board using a refill marker from Molotow that was filled with thin burnt sienna acrylic paint (Golden’s High Flow.) I used some thin raw umber acrylic in some areas to get a slightly darker gray value than the gray of the board. This I applied with a brush. On the left you can see where I’ve started in with gouache paint.

This binder’s board is an interesting surface to paint on. It’s about 3mm thick, and very absorbent. I think that there might not be any sort of sizing on it. The paint marker gave a rough dry brush on this that makes it good for loosely blocking in shapes. If I scrub the surface with a stiff wet brush it’ll peel up a bit, but it’s solid grey all through, so that’s not a big problem. No warping from the water, either. I like it.


Reviewing Arteza Brand Gouache Paint

September 24, 2018

I want to review a recent batch of commercial gouache paint I recently purchased from a company called Arteza. I haven’t yet tried to do much more with them than some preliminary sketches, and I do have a few complaints that I’ll get to in a moment, but my overall impression is that they are a good deal, and will likely be buying more at some point in the future.

Arteza gouache packaging

The paint comes in a set of 24 small tubes. It is packaged in a thin box with two plastic racks that hold the separated tubes, which is nice for storage. The pigment ID numbers are printed clearly on each tube, and I’ve made a chart below showing each one. The main thing that I am happy about is the low price. Including shipping, the cost came to @ $1 per tube. The shipping was free.

Below is another image that shows a brush stroke of each color over black ink to demonstrate its transparency.

For the most part, I am happy with the range of pigments. Most of them are mixtures of 2 or 3 pigments, but those are still useful, and there is a good range of single pigments. The pigment load of the paint feels very good, not streaky or poorly mixed, comparable to quality brands, and not like student grade paints.

I do have a few complaints: The tube size is very small at 12ml. Granted, they are inexpensive, so you might order 2 or 3 packages and have as much or more paint than you would get from other companies for less money.  but that brings me to another negative point. The paint isn’t sold separately, only in a set of 24. I don’t imagine myself ever using the neon “peach red” and perhaps very little of some others, so when ordering more I’d wind up with paint I don’t need. Arteza sent me an email saying they are considering selling them individually, but no information on when or how. Perhaps they could come in smaller sets that you could pick yourself, or maybe larger tubes could be an option. Those are suggestions I’ll send back to them.

Curiously, there are two tubes of titanium white, one labled as such, but the other is just labeled “white,” even though the pigment ID is PW6 for both. Having more white is a good thing, but I found this labeling confusing. I looked around on the web, and saw a couple other reviews of people thinking the “white” might be a “mixing white” (includes zinc) but that isn’t what’s on the label. 

Also, the color printed on the label in many cases isn’t accurate to the paint inside, either when it’s wet or dry. If you reach for a tube based on that color, you will sometimes be disappointed. The Ultramarine, for example, looks more like a violet on the label, and dries at a lighter shade. This Ultramarine label looks very similar to the Prussian blue label, and could easily be mistaken when the actual colors are different. I recommend making a separate color chart as I did above, and keeping that handy, something good to do for all your paints. In terms of the pigment choices, I would have preferred cadmiums and a true cerulean, but that likely would have increased the cost. Having a Phthalo blue or green that was not mixed would be nice. 

One last comment which is not Arteza’s fault has to do with tracking the shipment I received from the Post Office. It took a week to arrive, but on the day I got it the useless tracking information said it was still on its way to the Post Office. Possibly only a one time glitch.

Once I make a couple sketches that I like with this paint I’ll post them here.


Painting Final: Curtis On Guitar

September 15, 2018

I’m going to call this finished for now. I’ll still need to do a few touch ups here and there, but I’ll let him sit for awhile and listen to him play.


Painting Update 5: Curtis On Guitar

September 9, 2018

Here’s the latest update on the painting. I’ve got the flower pot, chair and floor done. I need to finish on the guitar and the back wall, a little touching up, and that should be it.


Painting Update 4: Curtis On Guitar

September 1, 2018

Here’s some more work to show you on the new painting. There is more of the figure painted, his boots, and I started on his guitar. I remembered there was a worn spot on the guitar below the hole from where he scraped it with his fingers over the years, so I put that detail in.


Painting Update 3: Curtis On Guitar

August 26, 2018

Only a little bit of progress to show on the new painting. I’ve worked more on the shirt and pants. They’ll need more work, but I’ll move on to others areas first, maybe the arms and boots.