November 16: Understanding Contemporary Oil Painting Materials

Since its founding, Gamblin Artists Colors has handcrafted luscious oil colors and contemporary mediums true to the working properties of traditional materials, yet safer and more permanent. Gamblin’s dedication to today’s oil painters extends beyond offering the finest possible materials – they believe in sharing their knowledge so painters can choose those materials that best support their own artistic visions.

Understanding Contemporary Oil Painting Materials, a 90 minute Lecture Demonstration will cover the following:

  • Color Theory – 2-dimensional vs 3-dimensional Color Space
  • Color Mixing – Navigating Color Space: Gamblin’s practical approach to color mixing
  • Artist’s Oil Colors – Gamblin’s approach to color making
  • Mineral vs Modern Pigments – How to create a personalized palette of colors
  • Indirect vs Direct Techniques – Historical application of opaque and transparent colors
  • FastMatte Alkyd Oil Colors – Benefits and uses of fast-drying, matte oil colors
  • 1980 Oil Colors – True Color. Real Value.
  • Painting Mediums – Choosing the right medium, including working properties and drying rates
  • Building Permanent Paintings – Understanding Fat Over Lean
  • Supports, Sizing and Grounds – How they affect color and permanence
  • Gamvar Picture Varnish – Understanding contemporary varnishes and controlling surface quality
  • Studio Safety – Create without compromise in a safe studio

Gamblin Artist Colors will provide each attendee with a FREE sample bag including products and literature.

About the Presenter

Timothy Robert Smith is a Los Angeles based oil painter and muralist, using observational techniques to portray a multi-dimensional perspective of the universe. Since recently graduating from Laguna College of Art and Design with an MFA in studio art, he has had two exhibitions at Copro Gallery in Bergamot Station. He currently teaches at CSU Los Angeles, where he received his BFA degree. Timothy’s artwork can be viewed at www.timothyrobertsmith.com.

InkTober 2019 Official Prompt List

InkTober 2019 Official Prompt List

🕷️ Ready for InkTober? Above is the InkTober 2019 prompt list, in case you wanted to join in the inky fun. 🕸️

InkTober rules:

1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want). 

2) Post it 

3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2019 

4) Repeat 

Them’s the rules. We urge you to tag us during the month of October so we can help you to show off your inky creations.

Farewell, Swain’s and C2F!

Karl Wiest, owner of Swain’s HQ Art Supplies

It has been a rough start to the fall in the art materials industry. The Los Angeles area lost an institution with the closing of Swain’s HQ Art Supplies, which has been supporting artists and selling art supplies in Glendale for seventy years, and we are very sad to see them go.

Read Karl’s message to customers. Thank you Karl for mentioning us and the other independent retailers still fighting on in Southern California.

The imminent closure of C2F, one of the few distributors of art materials was also announced. They were the primary source for a few of our favorite brands (such as M. Graham, Bee Paper, Pentalic, and Cheep!), but it looks like most of those will find new homes so we plan to continue stocking them as long as we’re able!

We live in interesting times for retailers and the art materials industry. Sometimes we feel like we’re mice scampering beneath the feet of giants with names like Amazon, Blick Art Materials, and Artist & Craftsman Supply, and it’s tough to lose friends and allies like C2F and Swain’s.

We, and our employees, thank all of you who have stuck with us, are just discovering, us, and hope to feed your artistic endeavors for years to come.

David Arquette Teaches Bob Ross Technique @ Raw Materials to benefit Inner-City Arts

We’ve been lucky enough to get some press on the Bob Ross Painting Class that actor David Arquette taught at Raw Materials (thanks to Emmy-winning reporter Nic Cha Kim at Spectrum News!) but we felt it was important for you to know, as mentioned in the news story, that the proceeds from the class went to support one of the nation’s most effective arts education providers, Inner-City Arts. Not familiar with the organization? Check out this video:

Inner-City Arts inspires the next generation of creators and makers.

We recently visited Inner-City Arts‘ beautiful, award-winning campus in Downtown Los Angeles, and came away so inspired. We are even more committed to continue supporting them and invite you to join us in advocating for arts education for our communities.

All About Gamblin Oil Painting Ground

Gamblin Artists’ Oil Colors

Oil painters are increasingly invested in the craftsmanship of their artwork. An accomplished and experienced oil painter recently asked us about Gamblin Ground, and why they would use it instead of or in addition to regular gesso. Creating a strong foundation for imagery is an important consideration, and Gamblin Oil Painting Ground creates the perfect foundation for contemporary oil painters. Below are notes on the key characteristics of Gamblin Ground, application tips, and notes about shelf life.

Gamblin Ground
Gamblin Oil Painting Ground makes a strong, bright, non-absorbent foundation for oil paintings. Gamblin Ground is formulated from alkyd resin, titanium dioxide, and calcium carbonate – titanium dioxide gives opacity, while calcium carbonate gives tooth for strong adhesion.

Gamblin Ground makes a brighter and less-absorbent ground layer compared to acrylic “gesso” – meaning that oil paint layers on top retain better color saturation. Gamblin Ground can be applied to a “pre-primed” acrylic gesso canvas or panel to make a good painting support a great one.

Not every day is Christmas…
We all have a collection of less-than-successful paintings that shouldn’t see the light of day. Since Gamblin Ground is oil-based, it can be used to cover old paintings so the support can be re-used. We recommend roughing up the old painting with sandpaper or steel wool, followed by wiping the surface with a rag wet with Gamsol before the Ground is applied. This will ensure proper adhesion.

Application
Because the percentage of pigments is so much higher than in acrylic “gesso”, painters need only apply TWO thin coats of Gamblin Ground instead of the recommended four coats of acrylic. Fabric supports should be sized with PVA Size before applying Gamblin Ground.

Gamblin Ground is thicker than acrylic gesso, and requires different application techniques, which are demonstrated on Gamblin’s Video Demos page.

Shelf Life, Formulation Improvements. 
We have heard from painters who’ve experienced Gamblin Ground skinning over in the can, and Gamblin has taken steps to mitigate this by managing formula solvent levels and drying rate. They have also improved the Ground by lowering its odor.  Ongoing tests show that formula adjustments over the past two years have resulted in reduced skinning and improved shelf life. 

Still, Oil Painting Ground is formulated to dry faster than oil colors, and it doesn’t discriminate between drying on a canvas and in the can. Gamblin date stamps the bottom of each can. Painters, please remove the wax paper seal after the first use, drizzle a little Gamsol on the surface of the Ground and cover with a plastic seal (i.e. Ziplock baggie cut to fit).  This will help prevent skinning in the can by limiting the Ground’s contact with oxygen. 

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?