Art Haul!

Now that Christmas has passed, and I am allowed to buy for myself again, I decided it was time to reignite my interest in oil paints and so went and stocked up!

Oil paints are, interestingly enough, the medium that really got me fascinated by art. My great grandfather was an oil painter and I grew up with a lot of his work around me. My grandfather also dabbled in oils, though not as seriously, and so he always had oil paints around. Remarkably, he was way more willing to have his grandson muck about with artist grade oils than I would have been! In any event, since that time, I've spent much more of my effort on watermedia, which I really enjoy, and hadn't really done much with oils. Time to change that!

So, I have a fairly large collection of Winsor & Newton's Winton oil colours and, for what they are, they're pretty decent. If you can't shell out for a better quality, they will do okay. However, the thing about artist grade is that the pigment load is massively larger, hence the price difference, and so to get the same impact with student grade, you may actually need much more paint, negating the savings. In any case, I'm fortunate enough that I do not need to confine myself to student grade paints and decided that this was the time to properly invest.

So, I trucked off to my nearest DeSerres (a Canadian art supply store that's more than a Michael's, but not quite a Dick Blick or Jerry's Artarama). Pretty decent selection, but not exhaustive. Nevertheless, they have Gamblin Artists oil paints and mediums, notably the solvent free mediums, and so that's what I wanted. My aim here was to build a split primary palette with a mix of cool and warm primaries combined with some mixer colours.

Cool primaries:
- Quinacridone Red
- Phthalo Blue
- Radiant Lemon

Warm primaries:
- Napthol Red
- Ultramarine Blue
- Gold Ochre

Mixers/Convenience:
- Titanium White
- Burnt Sienna
- Paynes Grey
- Mars Black
- Cadmium Green

I also picked up some Safflower oil, solvent-free gel, and solvent free fluid along with some canvas panels in various sizes. While I'm not going entirely solvent free, the aim was to reduce the amount of it in the open.

Now, to complete this setup, a trip to Ikea was in the works...

This utility cart is all that and a bag of chips. Locking wheels, plenty of surface space, great storage underneath, and bars for the handy Ikea baskets and shelf add-ons. The shelf is really handy, with ridges to hold active brushes.

The cart took very little time to go together, maybe 20 minutes, one person job. The size is quite large, the glass palette on top is 12" x 16" and fits with lots of space remaining. The general feel is quite sturdy and I like the overall utility of it for painting, oils or otherwise.

To give some perspective:


As to what I'm doing with this new setup, well, I'm giving a go at painting an aurora borealis. You can see that I've blocked in a fair bit of the under painting and I expect to get a bit further along over the weekend.


Yes, the reflection doesn't look quite right. I'll fix it in post. 😜

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