Techniques

The artwork that you see on this website is different than most art available because of the materials and techniques involved. If you have already commissioned a portrait, you are probably already familiar with many of the specific unique qualities listed here. You also are probably aware of a few of the secrets, not listed here. As you click on the items below, you will get a better understanding of the,”slow art,” process and why it matters for the beauty, quality, and longevity of the art you purchase.

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Precious Stones

Occasionally, I need something more to make a particular passage of paint shine, sparkle or eye-catching. For this, I sometimes grind up precious gemstones, (emeralds, rubies, lapis lazuli, garnets, opals, etc…) and add them to the paint I make. A friend of mine, Larry Wilson, made a special mortar and pestle specifically for crushing gemstones. There is some paint that I keep in the safe.

 

Precious Stones

Paint Day

I make my paint. The difference it makes is difficult to explain. Suppose you wanted to make a cake for your lover. You go to the store and buy a box of cake mix, take it home and bake her or him a cake. You are proud of that cake because you, “made it yourself,” only to find out later that her or she is allergic to gluten and some of the preservatives that are in the mix.

Making my own paint assures me of the quality of the ingredients. I know that there are no “fillers,” like aluminum stearate (which looks like petroleum jelly) or other stabilizers. When a company that makes paint tubes it up, the pigment quickly separates out of the oil, causing the paint to seem to be just oil when you first squeeze some out of the tube. Because paint tubes sit on the shelf in an art store, sometimes for years, they have to put stabilizers in their paint. This keeps the paint from separating, and makes it so they do not have to give refunds when the paint doesn’t act like the consumer thinks it should.

Commercial paint is often designed to equalize the drying time, paint film feel, and shine. Different colored pigments in oil, dry at different speeds, dry mat or glossy, are thick or thin, when mixed with oil. Rembrandt, Leonardo, Raphael, had no stabilizers, or equalizers to add to their paints. They learned the characteristics of the different pigments and they changed how they painted to accommodate each. Today’s artist are searching for that magic formula that the Old Masters used in their paintings… I’m sure it had more to do with what they did not use in their paint. They knew their materials and what could be done with them. Study, practice, experimenting, and knowing means that the painting will become what you expect because you know what went into making the painting.

Custom colors

Custom colors

Time to make paint
Paint Day