Over the last few years, we’re finding that the DIY movement continually inspires artists to get creative with raw materials and we get a lot of questions about how to use Dry Pigments by Gamblin. Dry Pigments are the same pigments used in Gamblin’s Artist’s Oil Colors, which is 100% pure, finely-ground, available in a range of 22 colors, and ON SALE at 25% OFF!
While an artist may want to use Dry Pigments to make their own oil paint by mixing with Linseed Oil or other drying oils such as Poppy, Stand, or Safflower, they can also be used to create other paint mediums using binders for acrylics, watercolors, egg tempera, and fresco. Additionally, Dry Pigments can be mixed with Gamblin Oil Ground to provide a tinted base layer to work on top of.
We’ve seen beautiful results when mixed with Art Resin to fill in negative areas in wood grain, or as a colored coating for surf boards. Artists have used Dry Pigments mixed into grout for mosaic and tile projects with much success. We’ve mixed pigments with pouring mediums in conjunction with, and as a replacement to, acrylic colors – to fabulous results. Are we obsessed? Yup. But mostly, we’re inspired.
A little different than tie dye, Shibori is a Japanese method of dyeing patterns by twisting, binding, wrapping, folding, and stitching. Indigo dye is used because of its easy-to-create resist patterns on fabric. Jacquard products make it simple to create this ancient natural dye using their Mini Indigo Tie Dye Kit, and it’s ON SALE at 25% OFF this month!
This Mini Indigo Tie Dye Kit brings the ancient art of indigo dyeing to the home dyer in a user-friendly formulation. Indigo dye, which comes from a plant, is one of the oldest dyes used for coloring fabrics and the one still used today to color blue jeans. This natural dye process has long been used in many cultures around the world. This kit includes pre-reduced Indigo dye, reducing agent, gloves, two sizes of rubber bands, two wood blocks, quick start instructions and an instruction booklet with dye patterns and historical overview of indigo. Dyes up to 15 shirts or 15 yards (5 lbs.) of fabric.
Fabric painting is a simple way to print your own fabric. With paints and a brush, you can conjure up beautiful designs, textures and patterns on your otherwise plain fabric, transforming it into a work of art. Check out this video on how to use GAC 900 Fabric Painting Medium by Golden for greater control in fabric painting. GAC 900 can be blended with various acrylic colors to produce fabric paints that can be applied by hand with a brush, airbrushed, or silkscreened. With GAC 900 ON SALE at 30% off, this is a good time to try wearing your art.
Interested in knowing the proper way of applying Angelus Leather Paints to shoes, purses, furniture, and other leather items? This quick video will show you the ropes, warn against common mistakes, and help you gain the confidence to dive into customizing.
When properly applied Angelus Leather Paint will not crack, peel, fade or rub off. Non-toxic and water-based for easy clean up, Angelus is easy to use and can be blended together for countless custom colors. Apply with a brush, sponge or airbrush (should be thinned with 2-Thin before use in an airbrush or spray gun).
We are delighted to introduce DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Artist, Sarah Graham! Sarah will take us step-by-step through her process for making a watercolor landscape on Watercolor Ground and Wood Panel. All Daniel Smith Watercolors, Sets, and Grounds are on sale for
Step 1: As always, the first step is the idea – in this case, a simple concept drawing in my sketchbook.
Step 2: Prime a wood panel with DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground in Titanium White I like to have a number of panels pre-primed in my favorite sizes so that I can get started right away. This piece is on an 8×8 cradled panel. Drying time for one layer is about 24 hours. I usually do 2 layers and then sand it smooth for more of a hot press paper feel.
Step 3: When I put down the first pass of paint, I usually cover as much of the piece as possible in order to get rid of the intimidating white areas and to get a good feel for my colors and values as a whole. As with watercolor on paper, the colors are much more intense going down wet, so be brave and go bolder than you think!
Step 4: When the first layer is dry, the colors have faded considerably, and I have a good foundation. Here I begin to build my layers, mostly very wet on dry, adding variation to the greens in the tree and foreground. Also adding plenty of colors to the sky and clouds – yes, there are purples, reds and yellows in both!
This is where I establish my core colors, which I complement as I layer with accent colors. (see next step for more on the accent colors)
In the sky: Ultramarine Blue and Phthalo Blue GS with hints of Cadmium Red Medium Hue and Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue.
The greens: Payne’s Gray with Quinacridone Gold in varying ratios.
The gray blue distant hill: Payne’s Gray and Ultramarine Blue.
Step 5: Now I begin to tackle the darker values and mature my colors with accent colors. I punch in some crisp darks to define the cows against the blue background mountain early on so I can keep track of where my darkest darks are headed. From this point on, every layer will be values and colors that answer to each other and keep the eye bouncing around the piece, eventually settling under the tree to rest with the cows.
Accent colors: Quinacridone Burnt Orange to warm up the greens. I also add it to the purples below to make my browns for the tree twigs and cows.
The purples: Ultramarine Blue or Payne’s Gray with Cadmium RedMedium Hue make a muted purple. More red for warmth. More blue for cool tones.
Cool blue grays: Payne’s Gray and Ultramarine Blue.
Step 6 (closeup): The bare twigs on the tree come last, however tempting it is to jump the gun – and yes, they are definitely the most fun part. I use a no. 2 round brush with plenty of bounce or a rigger brush.
Finished Painting: “Hillside Refuge”. Finally, all the darks and middle values are in, and the warm and cool colors are well balanced. Each part of the painting is treated with the same numerous delicate layers, regardless of its “importance” to the piece, because every part needs to belong to the others. Deep shadows in the foreground provide a natural border that hems in the serene nature of the scene.
Step 7: Apply a protective coating and display with or without a frame. I have tried various varnishes and coatings, and I am still feeling out what I like best, so take the following with a grain of salt and add your own flair to it. Basically, it comes down to a matter of preference. I like for my varnish to give my paintings a strong finished presence. For this look, I have found either a) several generous layers of cold wax or b) a brush on satin varnish over a glossy spray isolation coat work best. Both of these methods are represented in the gallery pictures above and below. This is a relatively new and evolving field, so experimenting is probably the best way to find what works for you. Just keep in mind that competitive shows have varying rules regarding acceptable varnishes for watercolor pieces, so do your homework if you plan to compete with your varnished pieces.
Sarah Graham currently lives with her husband and young sun in Duncanville, TX and is known for her sensitive touch with watercolors, especially her portraits. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Houghton College and also studied art and portraiture in Italy. In addition to receiving national and regional recognition for her work in competitive art shows such as Texas and Neighbors Regional Exhibition and Society of Watercolor Artist’s International Exhibition, Sarah has traveled extensively, translating what she sees into wet color or pen-and-ink sketches. Sarah is frequently sought out as a demo-artist and juror for art associations and exhibitions in the DFW area. Her particular love is to find something to treasure in whatever she looks at, both in her art and in her life.
We get it, you want to be thrifty as you feed your art materials habit, but we don’t think you should compromise on safety (especially if it’s a gift for Mom), and The Art Sherpa demonstrates here why the POSH tempered glass palettes from New Wave are superior to using plain old glass. (And to help you stay thrifty, the POSH Glass Palettes are 10% off in the store and online!)
Made in Pennsylvania, POSH Glass Palettes are everything the name implies. Available in grey, white, and clear, as well as multiple sizes, 9″ × 12,” 12″ × 16,” and 16″ × 20.”
They use 1/8″ tempered glass for maximum strength and safety, along with custom corner guards for added protection and surface traction. They are super easy to clean: dried acrylic paint peels away, and dried oil paint can be removed with artist solvents or a single edge razor blade in a retractable scraper.
It’s a rare occurrence for one specific painting medium to have a whole genre of painting associated with it, but Cold Wax Medium is one such medium. Cold Wax Painting is not defined by subject matter nor the degree of realism or abstraction, Cold Wax Painting is unified by artists’ shared interest in experimentation, texture and the physicality of paint layers.
What is Cold Wax Painting?
Cold Wax Painting is any type of painting that heavily utilizes Cold Wax Medium into oil colors. In its own way, Cold Wax Painting blurs the line between oil painting and encaustic painting.
Gamblin Cold Wax Medium is a mixture of natural beeswax (wax pastilles), Gamsol and a small amount of alkyd resin. The term “cold” in Cold Wax Medium and Cold Wax Painting refers to the fact that heat is not required for working with this wax medium – as it dries by solvent evaporation (Gamsol), rather than the cooling of the wax, as in encaustic painting. As the Gamsol evaporates out of the medium, the soft wax hardens to the density of a beeswax candle.
Cold Wax Medium is a dense paste, it is excellent in creating a variety of textures within a painting. It has a “short” characteristic and gives a clean break off of the brush or knife, retaining the sharp peaks of impasto. These working properties allow for expressive brushmarks and the ability to carve into paint layers with palette knives. Cold Wax Medium also gives oil colors a beautiful translucent quality, similar to the seductive surfaces of encaustic paintings.
Cold Wax Painting utilizes experimental approaches, including the use of brayers, stencils, and textural elements such as bubble wrap or wire screens. The possibilities are endless!
From the artists who wrote the book on Cold Wax Medium, Jerry McLaughlin & Rebecca Crowell demonstrates some of their Cold Wax Painting techniques in the video below.
Cold Wax Medium is compatible with oil colors, alkyd/oil colors, alkyd-based painting mediums, and Gamsol. Fast-drying mediums such as Galkyd and Galkyd Gel will increase the tack when mixed with Cold Wax Medium. Neo Megilp, Gamblin’s silky, soft gel medium, gives the wax a smoother feel and will round the peaks of impasto. These alkyd mediums will increase the gloss level of Cold Wax (just as adding Cold Wax lowers the gloss level of these mediums). Adding Gamsol to Cold Wax Medium will make it more fluid without adding gloss.
Cold Wax Artists
We’ve been fortunate to work with some wonderful artists who explore Cold Wax Painting techniques in their work. Whether these artists are working in representational or abstract modes of painting, they all utilize Cold Wax Medium for its unique working properties its effects on the resulting paint layers.
Since I first began using Cold Wax Medium 15 years ago, abstraction for me has become increasingly an expressive interaction with the materials. In mixing Cold Wax with oils, the body and the way paint can be layered, the enhanced drying time, and the transparency that it affords all lead to textures and visual depth that are the result of the process. Using Cold Wax helped me to move beyond conscious rendering of abstract ideas into a way of working that felt much deeper and more intuitive. Balancing the spontaneous aspects of my process with thoughtful editing and intention, the work has evolved into a true personal voice. —Rebecca Crowell
My painting process is centered on creating highly textured pieces by building many layers of oils colors, pigments, cold wax, and other amendments including cement, sand, soil, grit, and ash. —Jerry McLaughlin
I have been using Cold Wax and oil since the 80’s. I love how it extends the oil paint, the textural possibilities, and the way is sets up quickly to create layers. —Lisa Pressman
I fell in love with the rich luminosity of oil and cold wax in 2012 and have been using it ever since. I love how cold wax medium mixed with oil paint creates interesting surfaces and texture, allowing me to scrape, push, pull, and reveal previous layers. Sometimes it feels like I’m going on an archeological dig the way I am able to excavate and scratch into the layers, yet continually add more layers in an intricate dance to conceal and reveal. —Dayna Collins