Materials & More

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  • one 16”x20” gesso board, (supplied, with extra gesso added for texture)

  • additional gesso board or canvas, same size or smaller (optional)

  • brushes:  1” flat, 1/4”flat or filbert (long handled) small (size 1 or 2) round (can be long or short handled) 

  • palette knife, about 3” in length (can be smaller, 2” is OK)

  • about 4-5 colors of heavy-body (tube) acrylic paint (some colors will be brought for participants’ use)

  • water container

  • disposable palette

  • a pencil

  • paper towels 

  • apron and/or protective gloves, if desired

  • Lawrence will bring some cardboard and “found objects” for demo/experimentation

Materials I use*

Mastreson Sta-Wet Palette

Since I paint in acrylics, I used disposable paper palettes for many years. Then, only a couple of years ago, I tried the Masterson Sta-Wet palette system. It uses a rectangular plastic container in which are a thin sponge and special paper. To prepare the system, you must soak the paper in very hot water and then place it on top of the wet sponge. The paper allows moisture to wick through from the sponge layer to the top, so your palette surface is always just moist enough to keep your acrylics from drying out. Eventually, the paper will become clogged with paint or just so messy that you want a fresh start. You can then easily wash out and reuse the sponge, and prepare another piece of paper and you’re good to go. But to keep the system working, you need to remember to put the lid on the container when you’ll be away for more than a couple of hours. When you return, your paint will be as fresh as the moment it came out of the tube. I didn’t waste much paint when I used disposable paper palettes, but I waste even less now. (I have no relationship to Masterson, and I do not receive any kind of fee or compensation from Amazon.)

Utrecht Acrylic Gesso - Click image to link

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(I have no relationship to Utrecht, Dick Blick, or Ampersand other than that of a satisfied customer, and I receive nothing in exchange for this recommendation.)

Ampersand Gessoboard

Utrecht Acrylic Artists’ Colors

  • I have been using Utrecht materials for over a HALF A CENTURY!!! Don’t get the “Student Grade” paints. Like other cheaper artist products, they are inferior in almost all respects. Utrecht was recently purchased by Dick Blick, so you will see some cross-branding. One good thing about the purchase is that delivery times are much improved, and support is both thorough and timely.

Handy Timer

That handy timer I used during the CASA demo. Sometimes, working more rapidly on a painting can force you to be more fearless and discover new possibilities, simply because you don’t have time to stick to your same old tricks. So give yourself a speed-painting exercise once in a while. Keep at it, and you may discover that even your normal painting routine will change. Click the image to check it out on Amazon. There are other time combinations availabl.


My Small Studio Setup

 This is how my painting station looked at the end of work today. Time to clean up. Again!!!  Yes, I have lots of brushes available for quick access. And my palette knives are attached to the far end of my taboret…

This is how my painting station looked at the end of work today. Time to clean up. Again!!!

Yes, I have lots of brushes available for quick access. And my palette knives are attached to the far end of my taboret…

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 About a year ago, I got tired of rummaging through a drawer full of palette knives looking for my favorite, so I glued rare-earth magnets to my taboret. How cool is that!?

About a year ago, I got tired of rummaging through a drawer full of palette knives looking for my favorite, so I glued rare-earth magnets to my taboret. How cool is that!?

Favorite Tools

 I’ve used this palette knife for 30 years. I treat it horribly.

I’ve used this palette knife for 30 years. I treat it horribly.

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 I’m ashamed to admit it, but I sometimes leave it in water overnight. See the rust? So every few months, I clean it up with with a razor blade and acrylic remover. Eventually, the edge will become so rusted that I’ll have to use a new one. But I KNOW THIS BLADE! I KNOW THE WEIGHT AND THE BALANCE AND THE LENGTH AND THE SPRINGINESS. I know it so well that it can now be an extension of my body.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I sometimes leave it in water overnight. See the rust? So every few months, I clean it up with with a razor blade and acrylic remover. Eventually, the edge will become so rusted that I’ll have to use a new one. But I KNOW THIS BLADE! I KNOW THE WEIGHT AND THE BALANCE AND THE LENGTH AND THE SPRINGINESS. I know it so well that it can now be an extension of my body.

 I’ve gone through a few tube wringers over the years. This particular variety is built well enough that I’ll never have to buy another. And use of a tube wringer has probably saved me several gallons of paint over the years/

I’ve gone through a few tube wringers over the years. This particular variety is built well enough that I’ll never have to buy another. And use of a tube wringer has probably saved me several gallons of paint over the years/

 I use cheap rags from Ace Hardware for most studio cleanup chores. They’re better for the environment and much cheaper than paper towels. I’ve used the same rag to clean brushes and such for six months or more.

I use cheap rags from Ace Hardware for most studio cleanup chores. They’re better for the environment and much cheaper than paper towels. I’ve used the same rag to clean brushes and such for six months or more.

Easels

 This easel is a new addition to my small studio. It is wall mounted, so although it can accommodate very large paintings (this one—in progress—is 60”x40”.) it takes up zero floor space!  This is a 48” “Rue” easel, and you can find it on Amazon  HERE .

This easel is a new addition to my small studio. It is wall mounted, so although it can accommodate very large paintings (this one—in progress—is 60”x40”.) it takes up zero floor space!

This is a 48” “Rue” easel, and you can find it on Amazon HERE.

 And this is my old standard heavy duty easel that I mounted on large casters to make it easier to move. That’s 9:10 PM on the clock. Working late again… just for you!

And this is my old standard heavy duty easel that I mounted on large casters to make it easier to move. That’s 9:10 PM on the clock. Working late again… just for you!

Here are some other wall mount easels.

 This one is by the “Best” company, which is a well known brand. Click the image to see in at Dick Blick.

This one is by the “Best” company, which is a well known brand. Click the image to see in at Dick Blick.

 This is another “Best” wall mount product, which is called a “boundary free system.” Click the image to see in at Dick Blick.

This is another “Best” wall mount product, which is called a “boundary free system.” Click the image to see in at Dick Blick.

and then there’s this

 Finally, while looking around for easel links, I came upon this Pinterest page. Looks like a treasure house of easel ideas.

Finally, while looking around for easel links, I came upon this Pinterest page. Looks like a treasure house of easel ideas.

A better idea!

While perusing the Pinterest site and following some links, I noticed something missing: a wall mounted easel with rollers on top and bottom like you would find on a library ladder system. I think that if you bought a library ladder hardware system (there are several kinds) you could create a wall mounted system that will travel left or right with an easy push. I’d love to have that capability. Then, if someone would design a counterweighted or spring loaded lift system, the resulting easel would be INSANELY GREAT! Wanna start a business?

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