The Materials I Use


 I work on a number of different surfaces depending on what effect I want and how I want to frame something. Although I might add some i the future, right now I use the following:
  • Canvas:  I use 3/4" thick Winsor Newton canvases that are gallery wrapped (the canvas goes around the side and is stapled on the back.) I usually paint around the sides so the painting can be hung with or without a frame.
  • Watercolor paper:  I prefer d'Arches watercolor paper in 140 lb. and 300 lb. weights. Sometimes I use the paper as is to paint with watercolor paints or in watercolor style with acrylic, casein or gouache paint.  At other times, I will apply a layer of gesso to the paper before I begin to paint. Gesso gives a coarse, texture to the paper and prevents the paint from soaking into the paper.
  • Crescent Board:  Crescent Board is an archival board similar to the material used to make mat board, but with a sheet of watercolor paper adhered to the surface. It can be used in exactly the same way as watercolor paper. When used as a surface for watercolor, it should be framed under glass to protect the paper. When gessoed and painted with acrylics, it can be framed without glass. I usually apply gesso before painting on Crescent Board, but not always.
  • Gessoboard:  Gessoboard is a hardboard panel that has been coated with gesso. The boards I use are 1/8" thick and can be framed without glass.


I use the following types of paint:
  • Watercolor Paint:  I use primarily Winsor Newtown watercolors with the occasional tube from another manufacturer.  
  • Gouache:  Occasionally I'll use gouache alone or with watercolors.
  • Acrylic Paint: I am a real fan of all things Golden.  I use Golden fluid acrylics, heavy body acrylics and open acrylics depending on the circumstances.
    • Fluid acrylics: These paints come in squirt bottles and can be applied without dilution giving a really smooth, intense surface.  They tend to be somewhat transparent, so I use them knowing I have to get what I want on the first go.  They are great for blending, and the fact that they are liquid permits fine work and delicate lines.
    • Heavy body acrylics: These are the standard tube acrylics. I use them diluted with water or straight out of the tube.  They apply more or less like oil paints, but they dry a lot faster. They are paints I use for most of my current work - using both brushes and painting knives.
    • Open Acrylics: These paints are very similar to the heavy body acrylics except they take much longer to dry.  That lets me play with layering and mixing and palette knife work on larger areas or when I just need more time to work with the paint.

No comments: