Saturday, yesterday that is, I had some bookshop business in Margate which I decided to combine with a bit of painting, as most of you know I don’t paint much from photographs and mostly paint from life. Up to now this painting has been with watercolour paint and paper.
This is mainly because the whole kit goes in my pocket, with this type of painting really any small paintbox, some brushes and a pad will do. The really important thing is not to make things to complicated, by this I mean, stick to the same type of pad so you gradually get to know what will happen when you put paint on that particular paper, stick to the same make of paint, I squeeze tubes of watercolour paint into the segments of the paintbox and in the winter I put it on the radiator and in the summer I put it in the sun until the paint has gone hard. I have a limited number of brushes and know what to expect when I use them, I also use a natural sponge.
You can throw money at this, I use expensive sable brushes called Winsor and Newton number 7s, I use Winsor and Newton artist’s quality paint, I think the paint is averagely around £12 for a big tube and I get through about 2 tubes a year. I think the brushes are also averagely around £12 and none of these have worn out or gone wrong yet.
I didn’t have painting lessons or look at instructional videos, but just sort of got on with it, mainly because I want to develop my own style and with watercolour this now is just putting paint onto blank paper, which often just doesn’t work out very well.
Anyway I have decided to have a go with oil paint and canvas, the equipment for this is much more difficult to cart about.
You have a palate, which you squirt the paint onto and mix the paint on, you need to be able to cart this about without the paint side touching anything. When you have painted or part painted a canvas it takes ages to dry, so you also have to be able to cart this about without it touching anything. The main problem though is the Paddington Bear effect in which the paint behaves like marmalade, it gets on your hands, then you get an itch on your nose or in your hair so it gets there.
At the moment I am mainly practicing the carting about, but I have discovered that the oil equipment, French easel and shopping trolley with a folding seat also doubles as a portable table and chair meaning I can paint watercolour anywhere.
Here are the photos from the last two days.
Take a screwdriver that fits the screws that hold the French easel together.
Don’t pour linseed oil into the dipper, but use it straight from the pot as cleaning out the pot enough to put it away afterwards is tricky.
Take a pair of pliers to open difficult tubes or free up all the tube caps before you go.
Lay the cloth you intend to use for brush cleaning out rolled into a tube on the easel drawer and don’t touch the cloth with your hands, by dipping and then dabbing the brushes on it I managed to avoid getting paint on my hands.
Take some bulldog clips and some kitchen towel.
I bought a £2.99 groundsheet from Wilkinson's as I didn't want to get sand on everything, it also stops the easel and chair from sinking into the sand.
If you are going to sit painting for an hour or so I recommend a blow up cushion from the £1 shop.
The bungee held down the watercolour box and brush roll stopping it from being blown into the sand.