Greys – Grays – Got ’em

Got a package via Fed Ex today, rushed from the heart of Dick Blick. They didn’t want me to wait until the twenty-second as indicated when I’d placed the order. Five new paints – all greys/grays/sorta-grey.

I had just enough time to try these out on a bit of Arches hot press 140 and I knew I should have found some cold press instead. But here you go, joined by five other greys I already had and, in the middle, the common mixed grey of french ultramarine and burnt sienna. All Daniel Smith except for the one, noted as Holbein.

The new ones were pretty non-granulating compared to the others, at least on this paper. I think the grey titanium will be useful.

Greys – Grays – Got ’em was originally published on

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Sharpening the Blade (or pencil)

Got a new Blackwing pencil – Volume 4 – and used my uber sharpener to get it going.

These pencils have different woods and leads. The new one has a redder wood than my previous models.

Sharpening the Blade (or pencil) was originally published on

Cat-proofing

I’m pretty confident that although the cats could drag the whole black roll around, they’ll be unable to pull the nice “fur” brushes out of it without developing opposable thumbs.

The things we do to protect cats. See also: snap-cover water jars… and covered palettes…

Cat-proofing was originally published on

Helpful Cats…

Several mornings in a row I awoke to find various brushes out of the roll up they live in and scattered upstairs and down. Not amused. The most favored of course are the sables and squirrel mops. The cat(s) seem to have pulled them out of the roll leaving everything as is.

In desperation I got the same brush roll I use in my travel kit which folds over the end of the brushes. Hopefully this will eliminate the temptation. Bad kitties.

The fellow at my local art supply store found this all rather amusing. I was just glad they had another roll.

Helpful Cats… was originally published on

In Case You Were Wondering… Cats Dept.

The other night after mixing a near black in quantity for that last painting, I worried about what to do with the excess. I had mixed it in one of those small flat plastic pans – just like we’d used in grade school with tempura paints – and knowing cats, I put that pan into a snap lid rubbermaid container and felt ok about it.

In retaliation, the cats spent two days trying to steal my brushes. Seriously? Guess it’s time to find a duplicate of the brush roll that lives in the car.

Today I got back from an oil change and swing past the art supply store to find that latter stop was not in vain, nor my previous worry.

I bought four of these 1.25 oz jars and also moved my diluted graphite/sumi ink solution into one. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

In Case You Were Wondering… Cats Dept. was originally published on

What’s in YOUR car?

It’s almost that time of year, emphasis on **ALMOST**. Right now it’s still a bit chilly and often windy to sit outside and paint, so I’ve been painting in the car. Here’s a quick look of what I have with me. Also there’s a jug of water and a recycled bottle or two of water and a bag of old tshirts torn up to use as rags.

This is what I use when painting in the car: my roll of brushes, palette, paper, sketchbook (right now it’s a hand*book with watercolor paper, often it’s a Strathmore sketchbook), and a cup with a smaller cup which both fit in the car’s cup holder. I can use a drawing board or the corrugated plastic to hold paper using clips.

Here’s the pack and a shot of the tripod which lives in a side water bottle pocket. A water bottle lives in the pocket on the other side. Another one can live next to the guerilla box inside the pack if needed. The roll of brushes and the palette fit nicely on top of the box.

Here’s almost everything that’s inside the pack and the box. In the rearmost section of the pack are a couple pieces of corrugated plastic that protect some sheets of paper torn to various sizes. There are some spare clips and whatnot in one of the top pockets. Sometimes the damp rags and waterbowls live in a front pocket that seems waterproof lined rather than plushy. Sometimes the brush roll lives in the box.

Not seen: a great folding chair that is very light and which can be strung from the pack with a strap system made for camera tripods, easy on, easy off.

What I like about this pack – it’s light and has a pocket large enough for the tripod and a clipping strap that helps secure it. It’s not over-engineered inside with too many pockets and divisions so the main compartment is big enough for the pochade box with the palette and brushes on top of it. (I took those with me when shopping!) The back compartment is big enough to hold paper sizes that are reasonable to travel with. I’m pretty short and it’s not too big and I can comfortably use it, with or without the waist belt. What I like about it everytime I use it – it has a strong handle on top and one midway on the front so it’s easy to pick up and move around, even fully loaded. I do try to keep out frivolous things and sometimes rearrange it for a particular place.

What’s in YOUR car? was originally published on

Here and There Tuesday

Yes it was sloppy slushy snow this morning but nothing in the grand scheme of things. When I went out to push snow off the car, it was wet but obviously not going to stick around.

When i ducked back into the house for something the mailman came. In the mailbox was a very carefully taped up box with Air Mail and Customs info from Australia. Australia? The label indicated “Art Materials:… OH!!!!

It is a thing of beauty!

Then Mom and I went for a shot of holiday spirit at Faddegon’s in Latham.

I took the long way home because it looked like it might be an interesting sunset but also to do an errand or two on the way. When I got home I pulled out my new brush and paint and tried it out.

And then I did this small painting of what I saw on the way home.