Introducing an Oil Painting Master Class with Salomón Huerta

Artist/Teacher Salomón Huerta with a few of his paintings.

You asked, we did it. We scheduled a calendar full of classes and workshops in our new space. Our opening month classes and workshops have been leading up to the introduction of Master Class at Raw Materials, where prominent artists teach intensive workshops that go beyond art school. Master Class will provide intensive interaction with professional artists working in a variety of media and will draw from a broad spectrum of cultural viewpoints. Students interact closely with working artists and can gain insight into how artists approach the making of art and respond to the work of others. Teaching groups are deliberately small, intense, and personalized.

Our first class in this series is an Oil Painting Master Class taught by internationally acclaimed painter Salomón Huerta on Saturday, September 7. This 120-minute class is for artists of all levels and experiences. Students bring their projects and come prepared to work with Salomón Huerta on executing their artistic vision. This class is great for students applying to art school, artists seeking portfolios guidance, and/or gallery representation. Class size is limited to 15 students. 

Internationally-acclaimed Los Angeles-based painter Salomón Huerta was born in Tijuana, raised in East L.A. and attended the Art Center College of Design on a full scholarship, where he graduated with highest honors. Huerta also holds a Master of Fine Art from UCLA and is best known for his series of paintings depicting anonymous subjects with their backs to the viewer, facades of color-saturated, suburban homes, and larger than life-sized, masked Lucha Libre wrestlers. Huerta’s paintings have been collected and exhibited internationally, including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Gagosian Gallery London, Worcester Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Institute, and at the Whitney Biennal. Huerta is represented by Louise Alexander Gallery.

About a year ago, Salomón Huerta was nice enough to shoot this short video about his favorite art supply store and the products he uses. Check it out:

Is David Arquette the new Bob Ross?

LA Weekly asks if David Arquette is the new Bob Ross
Photo by Mia Fesmire

In their Best of LA Arts Issue, The LA Weekly asked if David Arquette is the new Bob Ross, and you answered with a resounding yes.

David Arquette teaching Bob Ross Painting Class at Raw Materials Art Supplies
August 24, 2019 – Photo by Mia Fesmire

On August 24th, Raw Materials Art Supplies was lucky to have Certified Ross Instructor David Arquette teach a Bob Ross Painting Class—our very first class in our new location! To no one’s surprise, the class sold out quickly. 

Bob Ross Painting Class at Raw Materials Art Supplies taught by David Arquette
Photo by Mia Fesmire

In just under two hours, students eager to start a painting hobby learned how to paint an outdoor landscape. Based upon the PBS “Joy of Painting” series with Bob Ross, these artists of various abilities and experience painted and learned Bob Ross’ painting techniques, thanks to David Arquette’s guidance and friendly style.

David Arquette teaches The Joy of Painting
Photo by Mia Fesmire

If you missed out and couldn’t get a seat to the class, don’t fret. David said he had so much fun he’d like to do it again.

David Arquette in a Bob Ross wig.
Bob Ross Painting Class students at Raw Materials Art Supplies
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Students in the Bob Ross painting class learn to paint landscapes.
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Students in the Bob Ross painting class learn to paint landscapes.
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Students in the Bob Ross painting class learn to paint landscapes.
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Students in the Bob Ross painting class learn to paint landscapes.
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Students in the Bob Ross painting class learn to paint landscapes.
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Big smiles and good times with proud teacher David Arquette and his students
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Big smiles and good times with proud teacher David Arquette and his students
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Bob Ross Painting Class students
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Big smiles with proud teacher David Arquette and his student with a completed painting
Photo by Mia Fesmire
Photographer Mia Fesmire poses with Bob Ross cardboard stand-up

In the meantime, all Bob Ross paints, sets, brushes, and accessories are ON SALE at 20% OFF during our Back To Whatever Sale. Come get yours. 

Throwback Thursday: Alex Schaefer and Chris Hernandez

Alex Schaefer and Chris Hernandez shop at Raw Materials w/help from Wonton

Five years ago these guys went shopping at Raw Materials with help from our then-mascot and head of security, Wonton. Good times. And today, we open for business at our new location at 645 S. Los Angeles Street. Will you be there?

Throwback Thursday: James Wilde x Raw Materials

James Wilde x Raw Materials

August 8, 2018 we showed street artist James Wilde some love, and here we are a year later and even with all these changes and so much new stuff going on – yeah, we still love her!

BTW, one week until we open at our new location – 645 S. Los Angeles Street. Will you be there?

Throwback Thursday: S.C. Mero x Raw Materials

S.C. Mero x Raw Materials Art Supplies

This video of our friend S.C. Mero, a DTLA artist who shops at Raw Materials, is also about a year old. Have you seen her remote-controlled traffic cone zipping through the hood? 🚧 Unfortunately the traffic cone wasn’t with her when she was walking from Sonoratown recently, and she, along with her companion, was hit by a drunk driver and rushed to the hospital with a concussion and other injuries. S.C. assured us through her social media platforms that she is okay and full of love. She’s so amazing. We’re so relieved she’s got such a hard head that she survived. Yay, artists!

Sophie Rodionov: Watercolor Step by Step

Watercolor Step by Step with DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Artist Sophie Rodionov

We are delighted to introduce Watercolor Artist Sophie Rodionov, who in this demonstration, will show us step by step a painting of a cat in watercolor using Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors.

Why a cat? – I love painting animals in general. Basically all that we call “nature” inspires me a lot. But cats…. I feel something really special about them. Moreover, I think that in some way watercolour – the media I love so much – is the “cat” among other art materials. Cats are never “predictable”, a cat always does whatever he wants…. 

The same about watercolour: even when we think – that’s it! I know everything about it! – it still surprises! And to tell you the truth – I love it! I do wish to get surprises on my paper, I do wish to be friends with watercolor, but I appreciate its nature and want to do everything I can to show this on my watercolor paper. So, cats…I live in an area with a lot of homeless cats and one of them now lives in my house. I have an opportunity to see them, to look at them, to take pictures in all kinds of situations. I often use those pictures for my paintings. 

I think, when we paint any subject, we have to feel a “closeness’ to this subject. When I paint cats from those “captured moments”, I don’t paint just a cat, I paint the “moment” I saw in the situation, I paint the feelings and the strong connection between me and that “moment”.

Step 1. Reference photo, value sketch and pencil sketch on watercolor paper.

Step 1  

I start with the picture I have and print it for comfortable usage. This is not really a quality printed photo, but I don’t care – everything about colors and light I have in my mind. The photo is just a memento to remember the feeling and to catch the pose in right proportions. I use my sketchbook and make a small value and composition study with pencil. Then, I make the rudimentary pencil drawing on a watercolour paper cold press 140lb. 

Step 2. First watercolor washes.

Step 2

First wash to define warm and cool spaces, as well as the main drop shadow which is part of my composition. Here I use a “warm mix” from the palette (usually these are mixes of Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Nickel Azo Yellow, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna) and in some places adding Lunar Earth to get the granulation. My light “cool mix” is usually Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Turquoise, French Ultramarine and Sepiain different proportions. Here I add granulating Lunar Blue to the background. For the cat’s shadow I use Moonglow, Verditer Blue and Quinacridone Burnt Orange. 

Colors. Nickel Azo Yellow, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and Lunar Earth for mixing warm wash colors. Lunar Blue for the background and Moonglow for the cat’s shadow.
Step 3. Adding values to the cat’s figure to build the form.

Step 3

Continuing with the washes, I start to add values to the cat’s figure to define the pose and to build the form. I use the same colors as in the background, just adding a bit of Quinacridone Coral to the ears. I wet the paper with clear water using a hake brush before applying the colors and spraying the water if I see any hard edges that I don’t want. If I need to put a more defined mark with the brush, I blot water from the brush and take up more pigment with it. This way even when the surface is wet, we have more control of making marks. For the tail, I use watercolour’s wonderful nature, when working wet onto wet paper, to get this spreading mark. 

Step 4. Adding darker values to the shadows on the cat and the shadow beneath it.

Step 4

Here I continue to add value to the shadows on the cat and the shadow beneath it as well as adding more details to the cat. I don’t wait for the paper to dry completely, I just continue with the process: some places dry, some are still wet and I get various brush marks naturally with little effort. This is important, to have soft edges and strong edges one near another among the whole painting. Also, I always think about cool and warm colors and keep them in mind while painting. Cool colors near the warm colors make the painting more natural and connected to reality, even when you are not “ a real realist artist”.  For the darkest places, I love to use the mix of Sepia, Phthalo Turquoiseand Verditer Blue with Deep Scarlet which is one of my favourite dark mixes.

Colors. Mixes of Sepia, Phthalo Turquoise and Verditer Blue with Deep Scarlet is one of my favourite dark mixes.
Step 5. The most fun step, creating the textures in a background.

Step 5

The most fun step – creating the textures in a background. Here I use all the same colors I already have on a palette, especially Lunar Blueand Lunar Earth, because I need their granulating ability for textural effects. Here there are no rules: I use a dry flat brush, splatter colors, spray water, lifting marks with paper towel – everything I could think of. But trying to stop in time before making the painting overworked or too dark in value. 

Step 6. Checking the background values.

Step 6

Here I check the value of the background and make a decision to add a bit more darker value in the lower right corner. Usually I take a break for a cup of coffee and then come back to the painting to look at the painting with more fresh eyes. This time I saw that some more value was needed and used a mix of Deep Scarlet and Verditer Blue, I love this kind of “silver gray” I get in this mix. 

Step 7. Adding the final details.

Step 7

The final details – I add some graphic lines with liner brush using the same dark mix I already have, and a most important character the painting – the beetle! Sometimes those graphic lines add a lot to the painting, but we should be careful not to make too much of them. And don’t forget to sign the painting!

“Other Way” by Sophie Rodionov
Finished painting, “Other Way”, 15″ x 20″, by Sophie Rodionov
Sophie Rodionov’s palette of DANIEL SMITH Watercolors.

I love the DANIEL SMITH colors and have used these paints for years. For me DANIEL SMITH is the natural choice because they have a really wide range of colors and not only the basic, traditional colors which could be found in any brand. I often talk about PrimaTek Watercolors made from real minerals, the different interesting colors, many with granulating effects and how some, like Moonglow, separate into several colors when applied in wet washes. 


My basic palette has only DANIEL SMITH colors:

  • Nickel Azo Yellow
  • Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • Aussie Red Gold
  • Perinone Orange
  • Quinacridone Coral
  • Opera Pink
  • Deep Scarlet
  • Sepia
  • Phthalo Turquoise
  • Phthalo Blue (RS)
  • French Ultramarine
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Cobalt Teal Blue
  • Verditer Blue 
  • Lavender
  • Olive Green
  • Perylene Green
  • Lunar Black

I’m an artist who loves different textures, I fell in love with the Lunar colors –Lunar Earth, Lunar Blue, Lunar Black and Lunar Violet. In the demonstration of the cat painting I used two of them: Lunar Earth and Lunar Blue. I think they are like a gem in this painting, without them, it wouldn’t have the “magic” it has now. The effects of granulation can be used not only as background texture, but for the animals as well. I paint a lot of pet portraits and the Lunar Black turned to be one of the “must have” on my palette, and all my collectors have loved that effect in their animal paintings. So, I could definitely say that particular part of my painting style wouldn’t be possible without DANIEL SMITH Watercolour paints. And I would like to thank DANIEL SMITH for this.

Sophie Rodionov is an Estonian-born artist now living in Israel. Since 2013 she has been working as a full-time, self-employed artist, designer and illustrator with a range of art collectors, fashion and textile designers, brands and interior designers. Member of International Watercolor Society from 2017.
Her current work is a balance between abstract shapes and realistic forms, which shift between and create a layered world of captured moments. Sophie finds inspiration in every moment of life and trying to show that each moment deserves to be shown and has its’ own unrepeatable beauty.
Her works are held in private collections of over the world, including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Netherlands and others. Sophie works with numerous top-brands and creates illustration designs for products for companies such as Papyrus, Metal Frame Works, Wendover Art Group and others.
Sophie enjoys helping social, un-commercial projects with her art. Among these projects are a BBC interior design show for people with disabilities, an auction for an animal rescue farm in California, an auction for a ballet school, wall art for the cat clinic at Wisconsin University and so on.
Sophie has a background as a glass artist and holds a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts from Haifa University. Currently she is based in Israel and finds inspiration all around, she is available for art travel opportunities teaching art classes and workshops.

“Kora” by Sophie Rodionov
“Buddies” by Sophie Rodionov
Sophie Rodionov signing her finished watercolor painting.

Throwback Thursday: Miguel Osuna x Raw Materials

Miguel Osuna x Raw Materials Art Supplies

Was it really a year ago that we shared this video of artist Miguel Osuna with the world? So much has changed since then, but we’re so happy that Miguel is still a loyal, longtime customer, and that he’s doing well in his new studio!

Realistic Watercolor Painting w/Kelly Eddington

What do you love to paint the most? You’ll never know until you explore a wide variety of subject matter. This online workshop presents a sampler of popular watercolor subjects: landscapes, still life, and portraits. Kelly Eddington will show you how watercolor’s unique properties can do the heavy lifting in each painting. Watch watercolor create a serene blue sky, a soft shadow defining a cheekbone, and reflected light on a shiny surface—all in seconds. Watercolor is challenging and can take decades to master, but this medium’s special quirks are so seductive you might find yourself under its spell for the rest of your life.

Painting with Gamblin Radiant Colors

Gamblin Radiant Colors: (clockwise from top left) Radiant Lemon, Radiant Yellow, Radiant Red, Radiant Magenta, Radiant Violet, Radiant Blue, Radiant Turquoise, Radiant Green

Vibrant. Subtle. Harmonious.

Gamblin Radiants work together as a system of accent colors, enabling artists to easily and predictably punch-up the color and intensity in their paintings. When used in mixtures, the Radiants allow painters to warm-up or cool-down colors without darkening them. Radiants can also neutralize colors into more nuanced mixtures.

Gamblin Radiant Colors are composed of eight intense tints – mixtures of pure color and white, at Value 7 on the Munsell System. In this page, we share how the Radiant Colors came to be and we showcase how painters utilize Radiant Colors in their work.

Development: a Radiant collaboration

Wolf Kahn’s Studio

Gamblin Radiant Colors were developed out of Robert Gamblin’s friendship with painter Wolf Kahn. Wolf’s landscapes are spoken in the language of pure color – the natural world is expressed through a vibrant palette and bold shapes. Wolf is just as fluent in working with soft pastels as he is in oil paint. As pastels are a “dry” medium, one would have sticks of pure pigment (Ultramarine Blue, for example) plus several tints of that pigment at different values. Wolf took the same approach to his oil color palette – incorporating pure colors from the tube alongside lighter tints. Robert worked with Wolf in developing the eight intense tints that became known as Radiants.

Wolf KahnA Brook Flows By It, oil on canvas 36″ x 52″

Modern Tints

Each of the Radiant Colors are tints of modern organic pigments. The one exception is Radiant Blue, which is a tint of Ultramarine. Modern organic pigments retain their intensity in tints in mixtures, which is the reason the Radiant Colors maintain such a high chroma at their light values. It’s also worth noting that these modern organic pigments are transparent in nature, yet the Radiant Colors are all opaque, due to the addition of titanium white in their formulas.

Radiant White: the brightest of whites

Gamblin Radiant White

Gamblin Radiant White is pure titanium dioxide bound in safflower oil. Radiant White is the brightest white oil color Gamblin makes. Safflower is paler than linseed oil which means that Radiant White is not only brighter, but it is more neutral in temperature compared to linseed oil-bound whites. With its high load of titanium dioxide, Radiant White reflects back 97% of the light that falls on it.

Without modification, Radiant White is Gamblin’s most brushable white – meaning it has the least amount of resistance under the brush or painting knife. Radiant White is also slower drying than other whites, making it useful for painters who wish to work wet into wet or otherwise desire more open time.

Techniques for painting with Radiant Colors

Lori Putnam

Colored whites

Radiant Turquoise, Radiant Violet, and Radiant Blue have become my first “go-to” colors for lightening values when cooler colors are needed. Rather than heading straight for my Titanium White, these colors serve me better because all three are cool, very light, and intense and they help with neutralizing colors. For example, if I am trying to neutralize Napthol Red and do not want a dark, warmer color (as I would get if mixed with its complement, Green), I add Radiant Turquoise. The result is a rich, cooler, mid-value color.

Napthol Red mixed with Radiant Turquoise:

Similarly, I can get a more natural violet by mixing Radiant Blue with my Napthol.

Napthol Red mixed with Radiant Blue:

Mixing with Radiant Turquoise vs. Titanium White:

By lightening Quinacridone Violet with Radiant Turquoise instead of Titanium White, I will get more nuanced color mixing. The mixture of Quinacridone Violet and Radiant Turquoise passes through the blue section of the color wheel, yielding beautifully subtle mid-value blues. When Quinacridone Violet is mixed with straight white, the corresponding tints remain in violet hue family.

Here I use mixtures of Quinacridone Violet and Radiant Turquoise in this painting of snow on a sunny day:

Lori PutnamBlurred Lines, oil on linen, 28″ x 36″

Warm and cool Radiant mixtures

Try this: mix Cadmium Orange with Radiant Turquoise in one pile and with Radiant Violet in another. These two greys will be the same value, but one will appear cooler and the other warmer. When placed next to one another in the distant landscape, the beauty of a late afternoon mountain comes to life.

Anna Rose Bain

More than Radiant

When I started experimenting with Gamblin’s line of Radiant colors, I expected they would end up in the “occasional use” drawer. To my surprise, I found myself employing them in nearly every painting—especially figurative works—with Radiant Green and Radiant Turquoise claiming permanent spots on my palette. Some of the others (like Radiant Red and Violet) join the party almost as often. Whenever I teach or give a portrait demo, the first thing people ask me about are “those bright colors” on my palette and how to use them.

I find Radiant Green and Radiant Turquoise particularly useful in adjusting the hue and/or temperature within a painting, while maintaining light values. Others in the Radiant line, such as Radiant Violet and Radiant Red, are almost impossible to substitute. The Radiant Violet is very cold in color temperature. I’ve seen nothing else like it on the market. Depending on the nature of the light source, Radiant Violet and/or Radiant Red are often the perfect choice for painting the brightest highlights on a model without having to default to titanium white.

In this passage of a recent alla prima portrait (below), you can see a subtle light blue along the temple area and around the eye socket. In those areas where there is a plane change, gradually turning away from the light, the color becomes cooler, but not necessarily darker. This was a perfect opportunity to use Radiant Turquoise.

Anna Rose BainKat Profile

In addition to creating luscious skin tones, the Radiant line is great for nailing local color. The little boy in this portrait (below) was wearing a white and sea-green shirt, and sat outdoors on an overcast day (so cool light). Instead of mixing white with Phthalo or some other darker color, I was able to use Radiant Green almost straight out of the tube for that shirt. Additionally, you can see passages in his face and throughout the painting (leaves, stone steps, etc.) where I mixed the green and turquoise in, creating an overall harmony for the piece.

Anna Rose BainSimon
Anna Rose BainSimon (detail)

In this portrait of Colquitt (below), I used Radiant Violet all over the background (in front of a light transparent wash of ivory black), and for the bold highlight in the middle of his forehead.

Anna Rose BainColquitt

Radiant colors are invaluable for cooling down a color mixture without getting a darker value and for obtaining bright highlight or local colors without having to use a ton of white.  Whether or not you are painting from life, the Radiant colors are wonderful shortcuts for all of your “high key” needs.

Featured artists and contributors:

Wolf Kahn

Lori Putnam

Anna Rose Bain

The Mind of Watercolor w/Steve Mitchell

Watercolor can be one of the simplest mediums to use, but it does seem to have a mind of its own at times, giving it the reputation of being fussy and unforgiving to work with. In this four part workshop Steve Mitchell gets into the mind of watercolor and see what makes it tick. Success with watercolor depends greatly on discovering and anticipating how it reacts in real painting situations.