If you have comments on classes that
you have taken with me that you would like posted here, or
info such as art materials websites that you have found useful and
that you would like to share, please send them to me via the contact page
and I will put them on this page. If you are just looking for the
Art Suppliers links click here
Salvador Dali - Mike Wallace interview 1958
Daleeeeee! One of the last 'old masters' and a great showman. This 1950's highly amusing interview with Mike Wallace has Dali running rings around him. Whatever you think of Dali's paintings, he was utterly original and way more interesting ( in my opinion) than the clowns of today like Damien Hurst.
I often get asked by students about where they should go to get advanced training in using the figure in their work, whether they are painters, sculptors or printmakers. I don't think there is a finer place in the USA than my alma mater, the graduate school of figurative art in New York City. Located down in Tribeca on Franklin Street in Manhatten, its a hive of buzzing creative energy that continues to grow and change.
Visit their website and watch some of their podcasts to get a feel of the place.
There are many sites now that show artists' work but this one strikes me as one of the most tasteful to look at. Started in 2007, they have had over 25 million visitors to their site so far. They allow you to submit your work for consideration and viewers can comment on and rate the works. A link to their submission page is here. Check it out...
If you are interested in having your work available as a printed book, the best company I have found so far is Blurb. It may not be the cheapest but it is certainly the best, Modern printing means that you can print one book at time or in quantity and the quality is very high. You can choose from various sizes and on different papers and the whole process is done online. I printed my 'Holocaust Series' book with Blurb and am very pleased with it. I used Adobe Indesign, for which they have dedicated templates available. For those who are less computer savvy, they also have their own book design program which is simpler to use if you don't know Indesign, plus they have video tutorials to help you.
They have templates to make other things from your own images like notebooks, diaries and calendars.They have also recently added a service that lets you take photos from your Facebook wall direct to a photo book template. Read about it here for more info.
I will do my best to give you their latest promotional offers here, so If you are thinking of trying it, for the moment until 7 January 2013, Blurb is offering 15% off any book order . Click here and enter promo code BOOKS15OFF when prompted.
I have talked often in my classes about the need to use a final varnish on paintings to protect them from the ravishes of future life they may undergo. Final varnishing also helps to bring the tones back up and remove sunken areas. Final varnishing should be done only after a painting has had sufficient time to dry, usually at least 6-12 months after completion. I try and wait at least a year and offer collectors the option of returning the work to me after a year for that purpose if I have sold a work before its dry enough.
The Windsor & Newton site has instructional videos and this one is very simple in its explanation. I like the way the instructor taps his sheet of acrylic, just in case you don't get the point!
As I mentioned to students in my painting and painting media classes, this is the stapler that I recommend strongly and use for stretching my canvases.
Rapid, who manufacture the R23
model are a Swedish company based in Hestra in the Swedish countrside and are well known in the building industry in Europe.
I used to struggle with the spring mechanisms on other staple guns which hurt my hands and required two hands to fire after a short while, leaving me unable to hold the canvas tight at the same time. This staple gun is lightweight and has a soft rubber grip and is perfectly sufficient for holding canvas on stretcher bars. It shoots 4-8mm staples.It is also guaranteed for two years. Mine has been doing fine for at least 10 years.
am thrilled to have found a non-toxic solution to fixing my charcoal underdrawings on my paintings.I have been worried for a long time about spraying an acrylic layer of fixative (modern ones use acrylic as a medium) between my oil primed canvas and my oil paint. Casein, a natural milk ingredient, has been used for over a millenium as a medium for paint. The Egyptians used it. Degas, Mary Cassat and Vuillard used it with pigment and as a fixative. Now it is being manufactured in a convenient form that you can keep on your shelf and use as you need it without refrigeration.
I use a little Preval sprayer, available from hardware and paint stores to atomize the solution. One bottle of concentrate will make 16oz of fix. I dilute mine with Everclear grain alcohol but you can use the cheapest vodka instead. Spray very light coats and let dry between each. It takes several to fix thoroughly.
have been using Metroframes for years now, whenever I want
a floater rather than anything more complicated.
I like that
they make my paintings look contemporary and LOVE that I can
order them online and that they pre drill the holes
and even supply the screws, so all I have to do is lay the
painting in, insert the screws from the back and within minutes
have it framed.
The frames come
in Maple, Cherry or Ash and a whole load of
varnish colours and finishes to go on top. They will also supply
as a finished frame (my preference) or in cut lengths for you
to put together yourself with their special wedge sytem. I
like to order them with black stained interiors, so all you
see is deep shadow between the painting and the frame.
depths available are 2 5/8", 2 1/4" and 1 1/2" and
they also supply frames for panels, as on the left.
also have some helpful instructional
videos on Youtube about the right
way to finish frames with hangers and wire, and on fitting inserts
into the back of frames etc. as well as some studio visit interviews
with artists. Maybe one day they will come and visit mine :o)
have fallen totally in love with Rublev Lead White
Oil Ground made by Natural Pigments for priming my canvases.
I use it on top of acrylic
ready primed canvas after sanding it lightly. I apply one or
two coats of the oil ground which I tint to whatever colour
I want using oil paint. I stir the tube paint into a little
of the ground then mix it into however much I will finally
need. I use an inexpensive 6" Purdy 'White Dove' 3/8" nap roller
and disposable plastic
roller-tray liner (I get mine from Ace Hardware) both of which
I can discard after use with no cleanup necessary.
I get a perfect
surface which is tough, gives the painting a solid
foundation and helps with drying the upper layers. Its dry
enough to paint on within two or three days though its preferable to wait another day or two if possible.
Tim Stotz and Michelle Tully, friends and fellow NY Academy alumni, opened an atelier school in the south of France a few years ago and now have a studio location in Paris as well, where they are offering figure drawing intensives that include cast drawing in the sculpture court at the Louvre. Instead of drawing from plastercasts of the originals, these ARE the originals!
The studio facility in Monmartre was previously the atelier of Toulouse Lautrec and Suzanne Valadon, model and mistress of Renoir, Degas and Puvis de Chavanne and mother of Utrillo. They offer three month intensive figure painting courses in their Argenton-Chateau location as well as occasional visiting artist workshops.
one for my anatomy students - Famous historical
anatomical illustrations in the collection of the US National
Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, available to download
to your desktop and even zoom in on.
A truly wonderful resource
available for free on the web.
Just for a change, something to listen to whilst painting. I have been tuning into Tom Schnabel's weekly Saturday program on Radio KCRW ever since it was first available via the internet. He plays a very personal mix of music which varies from week to week, some times a rock'n'roll track, sometimes jazz or salsa or classical. You never know what's coming next. So I have embedded it here, for your further listening pleasure. The program is 2 hrs each week. Check it out...
Ever wondered why Norman Rockwell's paintings look so photographic? He went to great lengths to get his reference material as close to his original idea as possible. The Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts has an exhibit of his original reference photos and a new book has come out about them - " Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" by Ron Schick - using images taken from the archive of nearly 20,000 photographs which are housed at the museum.
Robert Doak has a new and much updated website with a complete list of his products and interesting additional information and comments on some of his illustrious clients, though beware his critical eye (see his review of Margaret Boland's work - I sure hope he likes mine!).
I have been buying materials from him for over ten years and have come to love, in the process, the conversations I have had with him and the time he has so generously given me in sharing his immense knowledge of painting techniques. He has introduced me to new colours and materials that have quite literally changed the way my paintings look.
I can never thank him enough.
You might want to check out this fairly
new art information website. Artslant is a quick and easy way
to see what is happening in the galleries worldwide (and locally
if you are near a big city), plus its another way to show some
of your work online. They make it very simple to upload images
and resume etc.
Lefranc & Bourgeois are
no longer manufacturing Black Oil. I have not been happy with
the one made by Wiliamsburg as I find it gets gummy in the
bottle after a while. I have found another manufacturer, a
small company in Maryland making batches by hand. Mr Groves
also makes various other really interesting mediums and I am
intending to test them all as time goes by. You can order online
on his site or by phoning him at
His version of Black Oil is
called 17thC Light Drying Oil and is a golden honey colour. He
recommends storing it in the fridge in between use. I am
currently also trying his 19thC Drying Copal Varnish which I
am mixing with equal parts of turps and walnut stand oil and then
adding a few drops of his Sicatif de Courtrai drier for glazes.
It dries by the next day.
I have been watching Simon
Schama's BBC tv series, 'The Power of Art', again for the umpteenth
time and I never seem to tire of it, especially the one on Bernini.
If you can get past his smarmy BBC attitude, its a wonderful
series and you can still get it on Amazon. Here's a link:
Plaster Casts of Classical Sculpture
If you are interested in cast drawing
or painting, Giust Plaster Casts makes exquisite
reproductions and they pride themselves in maintaining the
same old world methods used by Pietro Caproni in 1911. They
are not cheap but there are a few that are less expensive and
still gorgeous. View their casts online and order a catalogue.
This one is for my anatomy students.
See how many originations and insertions you can spot! I have
embedded it as a Quicktime movie (I hope its showing below!),or
you can see it as a .wmv
If you want to know how lead
white pigment was actually made in the 15th century, here is
a step by step photo account of it being made today in exactly
the same way by Natural Pigments. The company is based in Willits,
California. They specialize in supplying art materials that were
used in historical painting since pre-historic times up to and
including the eighteenth century.
I just found
out about these handy cardboard boxes for carrying wet paintings
(I have not tried them myself yet). They come in packs of
three in various sizes.
The largest size is 16" X 12",
which is about as big as you might want to use in one of my
classes. They are available from Judsons, Cheap
Joe's and Dick
From Bob Shephard...
"Your site looks great as always! I'm
about to go public with a site of my own. It is www.portraitsbyshep.com.
I really appreciate your critique on my painting "Meredith & Kevin" from
our last correspondence. I corrected the painting and won "Best of
Division" and "Best in Class" with it at the Brenham Fine Arts
League Show, this year. It's
the oldest art competition in Texas."
As promised to my 'Expressive Drawing'
class in Seattle (Congratulations to ALL of you, by the way,
what a great class it was!) here is the information on Pinhole
glasses plus some eye exercises you can do to improve and maintain
As I have been asked several times
for the materials list for the classes, they are now
all up to date and on a webpage, with links below the class
descriptions for each one on the 'classes' page. Hope it helps.
I have finally put that booklist I
promised to you on the site. Only Anatomy books so far but
Painting and Drawing recommended books will be coming as soon
as i can get to it (if I can just get some time apart from my work!! You have
no idea how long this website stuff takes.... ) Anyway, take
a quick look:
From Mike Corcoran, here
is the proportional mix that Lefranc&Bourguois used in their
Cold Black paint:
60% Ivory Black - 40% Ultramarine Dark
or in French (for those inclined)
"Le Noir Froid
On peut retrouver cette nuances par mélange
de : 60% Noir
d'Ivoire - 40% Outremer Foncé N°1"
Thanks, Mike, for sending it in.
J.C.Groves - Historical Oil Painting
Varnishes and Mediums For black Oil and other interesting
historical mediums , this small hand manufacturer really knows
his stuff. Read his interesting piece on Ruben's painting method
using 'Fir Wax'. Visit his site HERE
Central Art Supplies has been selling art materials
for over 100 yrs to New Yorkers. Andy Warhol's favourite art shop
and mine too. Download their catalogue HERE
Artisans is my local art supply
shop here in Santa Fe. They carry practically everything I
need and are very helpful in finding things they don't stock.
Visit their websiteHERE
Maxilla & Mandible have
an amazing assortment of real skeletons and
other stuff. If you want some real bones, tryHERE
Skulls Unlimited has
every animal skull imaginable both real and repro plus some
interesting fossil reproductions. Visit themHERE
The Bone Room also
has a wide selection of human and animal bones and other anatomical
delights plus some pathological oddities. Right now its the
best place to get human skulls and single human bones. Visit
the Bone Room HERE
Plastic Skeletons If
you are thinking about buying a plastic skeleton, the best
ones are available from American 3B Scientific. They do
a whole range of them including a really great mini skeleton
( "Shorty") for around $200 and life size fully posable one.
It is sometimes possible to find their skeletons cheaper on
Ebay - look for "American 3B Scientific" or do a search for
"anatomical skeleton". See their website HERE
good floater frames in a variety of woods and finishes at reasonable
prices. You have to attach them to your painting but its really
easy and they supply the screws. Just order online and wait
for them to arriveHERE
Sinopia in San
Francisco sell pigments and gilding supplies if you want to
make your own paint or pastels. Visit themHERE
Natural Pigments has
some very interesting historical colors. Get in touch with
them and ask them to send you a catalogue HERE
Richeson & Co make
art materials and brushes. I have recently discovered their
wonderful 'Egbert' brushes and cannot praise them enough. Get
in touch with them and ask them to send you a catalogue or
visit their website and download their PDF catologueHERE
Doak makes wonderful
and very special oil paints. There is unfortunately no colour
chart but there is now a rudimentary website (its still under
construction). He will send small samples of colours if pushed
and talking with him is always an interesting experience. He
is unique and a true colour master. Minimum mail order is $50.
Try his Blue Ochre, Adobe and Sinopia, also his Flemish White. ROBERT DOAK & ASSOCIATES, INC.
89 BRIDGE STREET, BROOKLYN,
NY 11201 PHONE: 718 237-1201 or 237-0146 See his website HERE
Cheap Art Supplies - I am putting
the following links on here because all three sites often
have really good sales for basic stuff (I got $200 off my current
easel at Dick Blick) and its useful to keep checking them from
time to time: www.cheapjoes.com/ www.aswexpress.com/ www.dickblick.com/
Easels - When it comes to easels,
the company that I have been relying on since 1978 is an italian
company called Mabef. They are made out of beech, really strong
and easy to use and I just love them. I have graduated slowly,
from their lightest weight studio easel (M/07) which has a ratchet
raising system and is still going strong after nearly 30 years,
to my present larger crank raising one. I recommend lightly coating
them with linseed oil before first use.
Visit their website HERE
Do you have any interesting art suppliers'
websites that you use and want to pass on? Send them to me HERE so
we can all share....
The Art Materials Information and Education
AMIEN is an internet resource for artists dedicated to providing
comprehensive, up-to-date, accurate, and
unbiased factual information about artists' materials. In the forum, you can ask questions about materials which are usually answered very quickly.Their information is based on the most current scientific knowledge from peer-reviewed sources regarding quality, durability, and health hazards, and on original research conducted at AMIEN.
If you like to play chess, which I frequently
do - it helps to keep the little grey cells active - check out
the online chess at Chessworld.Net.
My site nickname is 'Goff'. Maybe you will challenge me to a
About Cold Black...
my students who have taken my venetian painting techniques
class in the past: I am afraid that it now seems definite that
Lefranc & Bourgois are no longer making the magic colour 'Cold
Black' which I have been recommending all these years in the
Williamsburg do make a version that seems quite good but its
gritty. Holbein makes a Blue Black that I recommend but you
need to add some Ivory Black to it. If you are
going to use my recommended mixtures for a while, maybe the
best thing to do is make up a batch using Mussini Ivory Black
and Ultramarine Blue and fill an empty tube or two (available
from art stores like Artisans). The Mussini paint has the same
buttery qaulities as Lefranc & Bourgois although my wife,
Lyndall Bass (www.LyndallBassArt.com),
tells me that Windsor & Newton make a very buttery Ivory Black
and Ultramarine Blue. I have yet to try them myself.
I will experiment and try to find the perfect proportion of
black to ultramarine.... check back later when I have posted
images and Web pages from this site are copyright of Geoffrey Laurence and
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