So, I do art and stuff - general artistic / creative chat

I pretend to be an artist in real life, and a chum in the Frontiers section suggested we chat about our pursuits, trials and tribulations and whatnot.

I’m kind of a Renaissance man, which today I think is called a polymorph… polymath, that’s it! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I do electronic music when I’m feeling brave, though a long stint as an itinerant engineer / producer left me with severely rusty fingers, and right now I’m terrible. I hope to get back to that stuff soon. I also write fiction - an example is bouncing around right now in the Origins section and might have to be moved soon. Oh lordy, so many ambitions from science, philosophy, history, the dreaded theology and politics… I have so many interests I’m spread a bit thin.

But among them is art. I work in pencil, graphite and colored, watercolor, acrylic and oils. My main focus for a couple of decades was aviation art, but I began to delve into all sorts of subjects. About twelve years ago, I got the bug to get back into it and bought more than $500 worth of water soluble oils as I wanted to get something I started with. And starting with oils is kind of a deep pool, but I loved working with them. Acrylics were cheaper and nearly as good, better in a few ways, so I went with them for many years. I discovered watercolors and I had an epiphany over them, and did some of my best work with them. But I played around with the water oils a bit, and had some fun rediscovering the good and not so good sides of that lovely medium.

Music distracted me for quite some time, and a few people discovered the quality of my productions and I made a portion of my income recording and producing some local talents, worked very briefly in a real studio until I got tired of being poor and got a real… government job, meh, so art took a back seat and the art stuff languished for a decade.

So writing my No Man’s Sky fiction, I used images from the game as illustrations, but I began running out of suitable subjects. And I got the bright idea to do some art for it, as I had hundreds of Ameribucks worth of supplies just sitting around doing nothing. And…

The water soluble oils smelled funny, the cheaper ones, Weber wOils which I noticed no one sells anymore. And they didn’t like diluting with water. And they didn’t want to clean up with soap and water very easily. And THEY STAINED MY BRUSHES! GRAH! And I mean stained.

I forget what the large brush is called, but it used to be a light golden brown. The smaller ones are all white synthetics, or used to be:weary:

So now I have the dilemma of deciding to bolster my tidy art bucket with some affordable but very good LUKAS Berlin water oils, which would cost me somewhere north of $120, or splurge on some Golden Open acrylics which are inherently slow drying with some oily tendencies but all the advantages of acrylics. Right now I’m a bit poor, so I’m sitting pat for now. I do have some superb watercolors to work with, and a bunch of surprisingly good Master’s Touch acrylics which I’m using on another painting for the fic, so I have options.

Here’s a (poor) example of what I used to do in aviation art.

And a sketch I did of the character MacBeth from Disney’s Gargoyles I never did anything with.

My dreaded water oil collection. The nasty Weber wOils are the top row. The rest are a mix of Cobra Talens which are great, Grumbacher MAX which used to be great but are succumbing to old age like the Webers, a couple of Holbein which are fantastic but a bit pricey, and a couple of Windsor & Newton which are wonderful. Not too expensive and quite lovely paints. The LUKAS Berlins I recently bought are very nice too, and almost half other brands.

And my “studio” space with my Master’s Touch acrylics.

Acrylicwise, I love the Master’s stuff, available at Hobby Lobby and is quite cheap while offering close to pro quality. Grumbacher is good, but I covet Liquitex Heavy Body, Utrecht for quality at a good price, LUKAS heavy body, cheap but high quality, the dreaded Windsor & Newtons, and the delicious Golden brand, particularly the Open slow drying acrylics.

In watercolor , I stumbled into Qor which has a lovely line, and there are some great watercolor brands out, but Windsor & Newton again seem to be the high bar and safe bet if you want the best.

Hopefully I’ll have some stuff to share soooon:sweat_smile:

So what’s your art story?


Well if that is a poor example, please, don’t show me your good stuff! I will never pick up another brush again. :wink: Seriously, nice work!


I have tried oil painting years ago but never progressed beyond the beginner still-life phase… Before I started working full time I enjoyed painting as well… now I just doodle. :laughing:

More on the impressionistic / abstract end of the scale, not naturalistic. I still have chalk/crayons and watercolours, and I had a beautiful set of primary colours Gouache (if you know that?) and recently I picked them up and the tubes turned hard as rock. :cry: Has anyone managed to revive dried tubes…?

The only recent “artwork” I have a picture of on my phone is this silliness :innocent:

(Those are specific characters from a game)


Those are super cute! And that pet rock of theirs… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Gouache is a weird paint - and it’s pronounced “gwa”?? I’ve been saying “gwash” forever! Gah… :yum: Anyhow, it has a few different substances in them, possibly including chalk, and the gums used are likely a poor replacement with water. I’m thinking if you tried to dig some out, it would just end up like a weak watercolor. I have a few tubes of Grumbacher MAX water oils like that, only good for the trash or artistic paper weights. And who weighs paper these days?

And on that note, I’m beginning to think of just abandoning my aquatic oils. I smelled that funny rancid oil aroma last night after I made a late supper from fighting my paints that day, and I thought it was just a lingering smell. But then it struck me that I had washed as much as a tablespoon of paint down the drain, and that smell was thick over the sink… GRAH! I have several tubes of Grumbacher MAX that are aging almost as badly as the Webers, so I’m looking at as much as $180 to replace the stinky offenders, and the remaining Cobras still might smell funny. Or spend the $230 or so to get nice, safe Golden Open slow drying and non-smelly acrylics which are kind of like oils but have all the advantages of acrylics. Decisions, decisions…

But I won’t be able to afford anything for a while, so… I’ll suffer the stink. :woozy_face:

And I’m stuck on a small strip of sky right now which is being unruly, so I’ll have to slap that puppy into obedience somehow, so I can move on to more interesting things…


I can’t help feeling alarmed. If I were you I would definitely ditch the rancid water miscible oils!. They will probably eat through any substrate you use them on. There is also the effect on your health.

Aside from the possible health issues,I’m a hard-liner when it comes to archival qualities of painting supplies. I want the paintings I sell to others to last at least a few generations so they get their money’s worth. lol

You have no need to be self-deprecating about your skill as an illustrator (unless that is a a cultural thing?). These are quite good! And your strong drawing skills will serve you well as you move into more expressive painterly works. Every artist I have come across is self-deprecating about their own work. I think it is because since we painted it we only see what it could have been, and isn’t, while others who didn’t paint it, only see what it became without our mental image to compare it to. :smile:

I have tried a couple of water miscible oils and for those I preferred Winsor Newton. But they still don’t have the visceral feel that I need.
I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t creating art. I remember as far back as age 3 messing with drawing and painting.

I have progressed through graphite, inks, watercolours, acrylics (OPEN acrylics are the best of these), oil pastels (aka oil sticks) and finally have come home to oils. Oils that are simply Pigment + linseed oil.

I say “progressed through”, but I actually suffered through over fifty years of trying to paint with acrylics. I have seen others do wonders with the medium, but it just doesn’t suit my impatient temperament. I would get a colour mixed and by that time the paint was already dry on the brush! In just a few seconds! I do believe that persisting with it taught me a lot about painting itself over those decades, but it was always a head-banging struggle. OPEN acrylics helped with that somewhat, but still they are not oils, and as you have discovered, neither are water-miscible oils.

I generally use a limited palette of three warm primaries plus three cool primaries and titanium white. And lately I have added viridian, and also dioxazine purple to my palette when needed. Some of the colours are opaque and some are transparent.

So from left to right on my palette I have viridian, ultramarine blue, quinacridone magenta, Cadmium red light (or orange), Cadmium Yellow light (or medium) and titanium white. and sometimes I put a blob of dioxazine purple below the viridian. Because red plus blue does not always result in purple.

I chose Gamblin oils after much research (almost) looking for a quality paint that didn’t cost the universe. Keeping the palette limited also limits the amount of money we need to spend on supplies.

I use the paint right from the tube or mixed with a touch of artists refined linseed oil. No solvents. None.

Since I paint every day, I keep my brushes sitting in the slower drying artists refined safflower oil when not in use, until they need a good cleaning.Then I clean them up with a mild solution of Murphy’s oil soap and water, and one more cleaning with “the Masters brush cleaner”, the white one that conditions the brushes…

I remember feeling so relieved to learn that you can start with only three colours plus white, if the colours are compatible. That kept the cost down while I learned how to mix any colour I saw from just those three primaries, plus use the white to help with the values. That goes for all types of media from inks to watercolours, gouache, acrylics and oils.

aaaand… this turned out to be a much longer post than I intended so I will stop there. Sometimes I think I should start a painter blog. lol

@AdaRynin Love the photo! Are they dolls or did you paint them. My eyesight is so bad (or you painted them so well), I can’t tell. lol


Those are made of wool (the photo is maybe overexposed)! It’s crochet/amigurumi style.


Ooh! How big are they? They are so cute!


About as long as a hand, 20 cm?
Make an image search for amigurumi if you like cute (and inspirational) things. :wink:


Well, rancid oil doesn’t have any health issues as far as I can tell. You can even eat rancid butter, if you want to, it just has that… taste. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: However, the archival quality thing hadn’t occurred to me…

Like you, I want my art to endure for a few months, so I’m rethinking money hoarding a bit. The Winsdor & Newton tubes have endured the decade of unuse so well, I’m thinking of switching to them exclusively, and most artists love them. I’m also thinking of skipping the Golden Opens, even as highly regarded as they are, and just sticking with the W&N oils for the slow drying thing.

Now I know why I passed over the Gamblins. While artists adore them, they’re the Aston Martins of paints, and quite pricey.

I bought some of the Royal Talens Cobras - sorry RT, my memory - in cyan, yellow and magenta to experiment with primary mixing. Keith Ferris, a famous aviation artist of amazing talent, learned in his youth as a lithographer that paintings didn’t always transfer to litho so well because of a few trouble colors. So he learned the formulas and ever after, only painted in CMYK colors, mixing literally everything including his own blacks. And I’m not a master mixer, so I’m still buying a fairly large color box. I have so many paints because the silly online shops like Dick Blick keep throwing in freebies with my orders. I keep seeing things that I know I didn’t buy, but that’s why. I’ve also done all I can to keep the “hues” to the essentials, since they’re made with other pigments, so why not buy those paints instead? Hues also might not mix as well in some shades. I’ll buy them on occasion.

I also tend to buy a few blues and greens because they all mix differently, and getting just the right blue-green sometimes takes a few tries. I should chase down a litho color formula chart, but I’m habitual and lazy. Because of my military art, I’ve taken to buying a number of browns and yellows because they make those muddy colors used in the militaries around the world a snap.

Stores seem to be out of a number of key paints until October, so looks like I’m making do for a while. I just need to either use cheap brushes with my Webers, or get some brush cleaner / conditioner, which I should anyway. Now, to see if I can get these woods right… :woozy_face:


The Gamblin’s oils are more of a mid-range price-wise compared to Micheal Harding Paints, Old Holland, etc. They have a high pigment-to-linseed oil ratio, and as far as I could ascertain, little to none fillers. Their high pigment count means that we use very little to create our mixes, and it gives us a lot more control over value, colour harmony and colour temperature.

I think the difference in our (yours and mine) preferences may have more to do with the way we want to paint.

If I read you right, yours is more of a photo-realistic (illustrative?) approach (please do correct me if I have that wrong!), while mine tends more toward abstract realism.(i paint mostly landscapes with trees in, and also abstracts that I kind of grow organically. (Somewhere on here is a post I made of a number of 6x8" acrylic studies I made of NMS landscapes from screenshots, too).
What we are inspired to paint, and the way we prefer to paint, make a lot of difference as to what tools and mediums we choose to use.
To give you an example of my way of painting, here is a photo of one of a series of studies I made of one of my favorite places, the gorges in Ithaca NY: “At the Brink”:

And here is a photo of a “still life” subject. (I dragged my easel into the kitchen, much thanks to the forbearance of my spouse, to paint this from life). lol
“Counter Reflections”:

Both paintings are with acrylics on (iirc) 16x12" canvas panels.
One day I will make larger studio paintings of these in oils (maybe 60"x48").

But these were made with Golden brand acrylics with a limited palette of three primaries plus white (as I stated above).

I tried to find a photo of the painting I sold last week, but I haven’t transferred it from my phone yet.

One final note: I have stopped using Blick as a supplier; instead I’m using Jerry’s Artarama for supplies lately. They have some really good sales on paints, and other supplies going on right now. The orders are packaged very well and delivered quickly (at least to here in Upstate NY).

Happy painting! :heart:

(Edited for typos)


You’re right… let me guess, I was poking at so many brands, I confused Gamblin’s with Holbein or Schminke or something. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Funny you should mention Jerry’s Artarama, that’s where I stumbled across LUKAS Berlin’s, and gave them a shot after I saw good reviews and a stunning painting done with them in a realistic style. I still go to Blicks because there’s a store in a nearby city. Both Blick and Jerry’s are out of the W&N water soluble oils I want until sometime in October. Even late October, oy. The Chinese plague must have driven a bunch of us hermits to re-explore our art talents.

You’re also right in that I like to paint in a more illustrative style. Right now I’m trying to do some old wood panels, and I’ve never painted an old house before so it’s giving me fits. And every technique for painting old wood brings up dozens of links to antiquing, no matter how I phrase it! GRAH! So I paint for a bit, get frustrated and quit, and go write or play some Desert Combat to stay awake. I took a pic of a nearby log cabin, which has always fascinated me, and is close to the kind of house I want to paint, but I’ll be darned if I can manage to get the wood to come out right. I thought about doing it in a more impressionistic style, but then it doesn’t look like wood anymore. I don’t think trying it in watercolor will do me any favors, so I’m kind of stuck on that one until I manage to come up with a breakthrough.

Your art is fascinating, and I like the way you work your signature into the scene. I guess it’s going to be a bit longer before I share anything new. Another issue I have is doing the human / humanoid figure. That has never been my forte, especially not since I abandoned art for a number of years. I managed to do a couple of sketches for things, but I work best from examples or models, which I don’t really have right now. Google isn’t much help when you want to look for “astonished brutes with a glass in one hand at that certain angle I need.”

Another issue I noticed are the Vy’keen. The typical Human is six or 6.5 heads high, depending on posture. These galoots are eight! Talk about goliaths…

Well, I’ll leave off my rambling for the night here. Might write a bit more, fuss with a supper I really don’t want to deal with, and/or bed. Happy arting! :heart_eyes:


I found a “beginner’s tutorial” on YouTube by an artist with a thick Irish accent: He starts painting the barn wood at 22:00. and tells you the pigments he is using/mixing and a few other helpful things. Such as, using a square *“flat”) brush, and stroke following the grain of the wood. He shows his palette and source photo on the scree so you can see him mix as he talks about what he used to mix a colour.

He uses a different palette of colour than I do because it reflects the softer more subdued colours found in nature in the UK.But it is the relationships that matter.
For example, he uses a lot of Naples Yellow where I use yellow oxide, transparent yellow oxide, or yellow ochre instead.

I never use black from the tube, preferring to mix my own from my primaries, keeping the overall colour harmony intact. (of course you can preserve that harmony using black, if you add a touch of black to all your mixes --just a touch!) ;`)

I like watching beginners tutorials about subjects I haven’t yet painted, since we are, at that stage, beginners again. ;`)

If you feel comfortable to do so, you could post your reference photo, and we can look at it together.

Thank you for your kind comments about the paintings I posted. I appreciate that.

Looking forward to more painting-geek discussions. :heart:

Edit:I want to say that I also find it useful when trying to paint something new, a subject I haven’t painted before, to gesso sup some cheap watercolour paper and make small studies of the parts from the reference; the barnwood for example. I have in the past (and probably will in the future) even resorted to taping a piece of acetate over a printed-out photo, to practise colour matching. It is surprisingly helpful.
Practise the parts, then put it together on your canvas or panel. We wouldn’t expect a musician to play a piece without practising first. lol


Interestingly, I know enough from my art classes to be dangerous. I’ve been using every technique you mentioned, including mixing my blacks using a touch of black. And it was good that I decided to go all out and mix blacks because the only tube of black oil I have is a Grumbacher MAX which has succumbed to that darn tar disease. EXCEPT I didn’t do a study of the house first, figuring a wash, heavier dark layer and then some dry brushing would work like magic. Right? RIGHT?? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: And I have a pad of tear out canvas I’ve been using for studies for everything BUT the house, because houses are easy… right??

This is my example. The only difference is that instead of being a log cabin, the house I envisioned is done more traditionally with rough lumber using vertical planks. I figure that carpenters are competent enough to fashion proper building materials, and log cabins require a certain finesse to make structurally stable which is inherent in lumber-built houses. And artistically, I’m used to traditional homes as my dad was a carpenter and built more than half the homes we lived in, including this one. Anyhow, the example is a perfect color, with faded wood that’s almost gray with a touch of brown remaining.

I have a couple of vids cued up. I decided to try “plein air” to start my search phrase, and darn if it didn’t call up a bunch of art frames! But vids went straight to the topic, an in the first one the guy uses about four blues, which seems a bit much to me. I also stick mostly to yellow or golden ochre for the most part, and I have to make sure I get some gold because getting that color right is eluding me.

I think a key missing ingredient is a proper sized hog hair brush, so I guess I’ll have to mask up and hit the local Hobby Lobby for something. The other is getting the right gray, as two days ago a bunch of my attempts turned purple. I have to make sure to use a less red brown, just raw browns. I’m half tempted to gesso over the mess and start from scratch - for the third time, but layering is good, right? Right?? :sweat_smile: Oh, did I say something about an example? And I’m not sure if I have a shadow lifting app, but in this case I’m not sure it’s necessary.

I sketched out the house before I got desperate and took this, but it ended up really close. And the owners were a little dubious about taking a pic of their home. Eh, I have a libertarian streak in me too.

Well, guess I should shower so my fellow Humans can bear to be near me.

And a quick edit. Looking my rough mess over, after watching parts of a couple of videos… it’s really not too bad. Mostly, it’s a case of me being impatient and easily frustrated. I just need that dead pig brush. And more layers. Right? Right??

And looking at a few more Vy’keen images, I’ve noticed that heights in that universe with the Three Races seem to be fairly uniform, with a little variation. Some pics I’ve taken are definitely of very tall Vy’keen, and others are a more normal six-and-a-half heads high. I don’t know if it’s a Reset thing, perspective simply playing its usual tricks or what, but I’m going to roll with it like I have been.


just add more yellow ochre. --and white. lol Yellow de-saturates purple. Right??

Your photo ref looks a bit fuzzy, but that may be my eyesight --still haven’t been able to get the operation on my eyes… other than that along with your sketches it should do ok. Just leave out the air conditioner ok? lol

On the subject of the owners. I would just go knock on their door and tell them you are going to make a painting and hope they don’t mind you taking a photo as reference. That you really are not intending to be creepy. lol

You never know, they might be interested in later purchasing the painting.

I’m in saving-up mode now because everyone seems to be enjoying the quality of Rosemary brand brushes.

I still have some Masters brand brushes from over 50 years ago that are like new, they are so well made, and yet I bought some reasonably priced --not cheap-- brushes recently and within a month the ferrule loosened and dropped off the handle.


{I think we were both typing at the same time, as I missed your edit earlier) :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Yeah. Painting is a meditative activity. If we can keep the “I just want a finished object!”(aka, “End-gaining”) at bay while we let ourselves sink into the problem-solving and the juicy visceral feel of the brush strokes, and play with the colours, then it tends to be more relaxing.

I find daily practise of painting small (6"x8" panels) of things that attract me and that aren’t for viewing by anyone else (unless they are special, other artists, or people that I trust implicitly) really helps with keeping the end-gaining at bay. And some of them are even pretty good-enough paintings in the end. ;`)


We have quite a few parallels in our lives. I have cataracts in my right eye that cropped up a few years ago that have finally left me clinically blind, my favored eye too. Fortunately my brain has adjusted well to my affliction and is doing a good job of rendering a proper 3D image. But some days it seems my vision is a bit tired, and every day I go through a moment of thinking my glasses are dirty, only to find that they aren’t, my right eye is just a bit cloudy for a while. Fortunately I’m a vet so I can get an operation done this fall sometime. They want to do both eyes, and if it gave me close to 20/20 far vision, or better, I’m thinking that would suit me fine. The thought of having sore eyes for a while isn’t warming my heart though…

The pic is a scouche fuzzy, and cut off parts of the house I didn’t want to, but my poor Samsung is getting wonky in its “old age” of ten. Eats through batteries like crazy too. I should start using my phone, probably takes better pics. And it’s funny how the people reacted. I go for walks around the neighborhood, and decided one sunny eve to snap some shots on the way home. On approach I didn’t think anyone was around so I thought I’d just grab a couple of angles. But suddenly a couple appeared on the porch, an old grizzled waif of a woman and her chunky middle-aged son, both wearing caps, and I waved my camera, asking if I could take a couple as examples for a painting I was doing. She smirked at me, saying, “Well, I guess you can do whatever you want from a public sidewalk. But we just washed our dog and she’s drying off here, maybe some other day.” She’s a big furry hound and decidedly does not like me walking past their house, throwing a fit from inside, and I heard a low growl so I thought I’d just mosy along.

The next day I thought the coast was clear so I squatted on the sidewalk for a couple of low angles from either direction to get two lighting examples, and that old woman appeared from nowhere, evidently sitting out and enjoying the setting sun. The dog began barking furiously from inside, so I waved and said I’d hurry. She hunkered down out of sight, and I got two quick pics off. Darn rush jobs. I’d like to get a couple more in a morning angle as lighting in the morning is pretty different, and my painting is of a morning scene, but I spent a time chatting with my brother who emigrated to Japan to just past 4am Tuesday, and it messed up my entire week. Maybe next week.

Wood is… strange, particularly old wood. I completely understand why artists use so many colors in their paintings, because old lumber can have some weird unexpected shades in them, for any number of reasons. We have relatives in the remoter parts of America, and in our visits I marveled at some ancient structures who’s woods had all manner of hues lurking in them. The true masters somehow take a mess of several wild colors and bring them together to capture the subject marvelously. Somehow. I need to check out another couple of vids this morning.

I was curious as to where you originate, since you use British spellings here and there. Are you an emigre from the UK, from Canada? For a mild spoiler from my fiction here, I stuck with the name Nigel Fox because that’s my online ID from XBox and Steam. A name I used to represent a British race car driver since I’m a huge racing game fan, particularly of Touring Car style racing on road courses. I wanted Nigel to be American in the fic though, so I came up with a history that had his family emigrating to Canadia :wink: when he was very young, and then to America. There’s a dream scene of him with his mum as she reminds him to speak Americanese at school so the kids wouldn’t pick on him for being odd.

I find the British culture to be particularly fascinating, and have adopted it as my “other home,” drinking tea with cream and sugar which bugs a few of my American chums, and speaking with a British accent which any naturalized Brit would probably tell right off as completely hokey. I do a pretty good Tom Baker though. He’s always been my favorite Doctor.

I’ve had a lot of fun writing my fic, adding some swashbuckle our beloved alternate reality lacks, and with a typical American fighter jock brashly making his way through a universe which often confuses and frustrates him. Though he has a big heart, he’s going to be a very typical American male in upcoming chapters, as he begins to have increasingly interesting, challenging and frightening encounters.

Well… wood. Armed with some new Master’s Touch hog hair bristles, surely success is beyond doubt. Right?? (ominous voice) Dun dun dun:sweat_smile:


I am also clinically blind.I have cateracts in both eyes and also a genetic anomally tha causes the lenses of my eyes to separate into about 5 layers each. Some days it is like looking through bunched up cling wrap, and frosted., too. It makes it mcuh harder to discern a variety of edges, Everything blends into everything else. It also causes difficulty with achieving appropriate value zones, but I have had decades of drawing and painting nature, so that my memory and experience can help. I think I tend to overcompensate a little and end up with too many hard edges and contrasts.
On the other hand it does make it easier to reduce a scene its overall shapes. :grin:

Hahah! Yes!

Loved the story of how you got the pics for the house. lol

Yes, that is the main advantage of using a limited paletter. You can mix all the colours you need , in all the values, in all the temperatures and lay them down, so that close up they look a bit of an abstract mess, but back up and they resolve into a beautiful scene! (that is my ultimate goal as a painter!)

UK and Canada, but living in the states for the last twenty years. Good catch!

The story you are writing sounds fun, too. I have written eight full novel drafts, and never did manage to bring myself to edit any of them.

Brushes: Are you aware that using real bristle brushes with water media can be detrimental to the brushes? Apparently the fibres soak up the water and swell, then shrink again when they dry out. I heard that they will eventually loosen in the ferrule, lose hairs into your painting surface,and eventually start to dissolve. If you are to continue with the water-miscible oils, try using synthetic brushes? Although I have to say that I have yet to find a synthetic that produces a mark like a proper bristle.

So it has been a busy few days for me. The painting on the easel (I figured it would be too much of a challenge for me–but I have to try or how else will I grow as an artist?) has now been scraped back three times. I need to learn to stop when good enough is good enough. lol

lately I have been trying to do a lot of preliminary work up front before even putting brush to canvas, but now I have tried it a few times I’m not sure it’s for me.
For each painting the last few months, I have made sketch after sketch in graphite, and when I have gathered enough observational information, I make a Notan ink sketch (for those who may not know, a Notan is a black and white sketch with no gradients. You have to choose which value is going to be white and which will be black, in order to create a dark/light design pattern that is useful to your composition.) Then I make one or two watercolour sketches to get a grasp of the value/colour/temperature variations. Then I get all nervous and do nothing for a couple of days because I have invested so much into the painting and I haven’t even started painting yet! :sweat:
And I have ended up scraping back anyway, so I may go back to just diving in again.

Looking forward to seeing how your wood turns out.

Attributed to Carlson of Carlson’s Guise to Landscape painting:
“The right colour of the right value and the right temperature in the right place with the right amount of pressure, one mark at a time is how paintings get made.” Easy right??? :joy:


We don’t put cream in our tea. Fresh milk is OK (but not the UHT stuff). We put cream in coffee, but never in tea.

There is a thing called a “cream tea”, but that’s a kind of afternoon snack of scones served with jam and cream, and a pot of tea - but the cream is to go on the scones, not in the tea.


I don’t really do art, but I wrote a book. Does that count for this topic?


Sure! I wanted any sort of creativity included. Art, music, writing, sculpture, whatever. I would even include stuff like acting and voice acting in there too. :slightly_smiling_face: Share whatever you feel like about it.

Well, I guess I am a bit of an international kind of guy, so there’s that. But it was the reaction of one of my friends the first time I had Earl Grey with coffee creamer. “Ehw… so you drink tea like a Brit, chahming.” :yum:

For a personality quirk of mine, I eat any ol’ time, but I drink my coffee and tea on the half hour. This has been my weird habit for more than a decade now. If I drink on the hour, I feel off rhythm. Odd, but then I am a bit eccentric.

I’m jealous of actual artists…

Which is silly because art is whatever we say it is. The thing is, you’re right that I have lofty ideals for every painting, every writing and every piece of music I do, and as often as not I feel I failed a bit. This stuff is just for fun and to illustrate what’s going on in my fiction, but I take everything I do mortally serious. I feel that if I haven’t delivered a serving which is at least penultimate, I let myself and my viewers down, and that’s really a poor attitude. It’s caused me to shun music playing entirely, and if I don’t practice, and fairly often, then rotten is all I’ll ever be. Self-fulfilling doom. I’m trying to push past this fear of failure. Right now, I have a quick study drying of some wood practice, and I’ve figured out - I’m slow - that just letting something happen is the way to go. Fussing with it just makes it into a bland stripe of mucky color. But I’m afraid the thing to do is to work in some woodgrain, knots and gaps in the boards, either with brush, marker, or cheating digitally. I have an idea for musical instruments which is definitely going to require some cheating.

It must be a subliminal memory of natural brushes, but I’ve been buying synthetics exclusively, lucky me. The synthetic hog bristles are serving me much better than my soft flats.

Your ordeal of the past few days sounds like mine. It’s aggravating, knowing that the only roadblock between me and a finished piece is me and my fear of crashing-burning. Which really is dumb, because we both have managed to create stuff that we’re remotely proud of. It’s not like this is our first time. But everyone wants to be (insert famous master maestro here), or a lot of us do, and that seems to be my problem anyhow. “Do better, do better, do better than that… AARGH!” Ah, the artist’s curse…

I have to get past this silly need for “perfection,” trying to aspire to something Hildebrantish or whatever. If I can’t push through this dumb hangup, I might try a few more pieces. Though two of those involve portraiture, which is something else I’ve never tried… dun dun dun

It’s funny how many parallels there are between us, or even Nijol. :sweat_smile:

It’s also funny how I have a weird synchronicity with the world around me and my writing. I posted my last chapter just days before the Frontiers update dropped, and I anticipated quite a bit of it with my last two chapters. I can’t remember if I included the firefly around lamp thing or not. I’m constantly coming back to my work after a month or more, and seeing that I forgot a detail here or there. I had to resort to asking our mod mod devilin to fix up a scene where I completely forgot something crucial, which made a later scene sound off.

I have the bad habit they tell writers not to do, and throw my fiction down without an outline framework, to be sure and know what you’re going to be writing. In my case, it makes writing so much more fun, because the story takes on a life of its own, surprising me with what develops off of itself. In fact, I had a very different scenario in mind with a certain character who popped into the story out of hyperspace. Seri just sort of appeared out of my mental vapors and took on a life of her own. It seems strangely that I’m documenting things taking place in another reality. Wouldn’t that be spooky? Dun dun dun… :no_mouth:

I definitely have an end goal in mind with this story, and some crazy things are going to happen along the way. I think this is the one year and a month anniversary of me starting this madcap chronicle, and it’s already novel sized - with a chapter back being roughly 100 pages! It was my most emotional effort yet, and had me in conniptions towards the end. I pour all my essence into my writing, and juice it up by working with a soundtrack of… well, soundtracks from various anime and video games as I write. I have a novel trilogy in mind to attempt one of these days, if I can just get past a weird energy drain that hits me every time I start. I can write fanfics all day long, but original stuff?? Perish the thought…

Well, paint is drying on my palette, though just small dabs but I hate to waste anything. And I’m itching to get back to that new chapter I started, as well as several other arty ideas, so, tally ho!