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Materials and Process



I love brushes.... I have more than I will every be able to use if I were to use them all - but the right brush for the job is very important. I am always trying new brushes for the right spring, flow, line, softness, and control.

Here are some of the brushes that I use regularly:

  • Trekell Golden Taklon
  • Escoda Prado #4
  • daVinci - Top-Acryl flats
  • Princeton - Select Petite (20/0) for tiny details on small paintings
  • Try the 1/4" "The Tish" by Rosemary & Co - Rosemary and Co make great brushes!


I normally paint smoothly, so a solid support is more to my liking. I typically use Ampersand Gessobord.

Oil Paints

I primarily use M. Graham, but also Old Holland and Gamblin. For my whites I use Titanium White, but will also use Zinc or Flake white for more opaque areas.

Mediums and Solvants

Paint consistency is very important as well, so I use a few mediums depending on the stage of the painting and the desired glossiness.

These include:

  • Tony Ryder Medium (using a formula from his workshop)
  • Alchemist Painting and Grinding Medium
  • Galkyd
  • Balsam Resin Glaze Medium (Turpentine)
  • Epoxide Oil

Note that to "oil out" a painting in order to remove the dry/flat areas in the painting, I will use a 50/50 mix of Galkyd and Gamsol Orderless Mineral Sprits (OMS). More recently, I have been using SVALOS Diluant Thinner for my thinning (Livos).

For cleaning I use one of the thinners above and then use a clear liquid dish washing soap (no fragrances or color) and water.


I use Gamvar Picture Varnish as a final varnish.

Painting Process

My typical painting process generally includes these steps:

  • Subject/Theme: Choose subject material from live model, nature, still life setup, or from or photos I have previously taken.
  • Composition: Establish the composition with potential exploration in photoshop.
  • Preliminary Drawing: I may create  a detailed drawing or sketch depending on complexity/detail needed for the subject to firm up or explore the composition.
  • Underpainting: I generally first do an oil transfer of the drawing to a panel (or may start directly on panel for landscape or simple subjects) and then ghost the transfer (make it faint) and establish a simple monochromatic value underpainting. If I do not do a preliminary drawing, then I will do an oil monochromatic sketch or color underpainting.
  • First Painting: Once the underpainting is dry, I then block in the color.
  • Second Painting: After the first painting is dry, I make a pass to refine the color, value, and edges of the painting. Depending on the complexity of the painting, this could take multiple sessions.
  • Glazing: After the second painting is complete, I will continue to refine the painting with additional glazes.
  • Varnish: Time permitting, I  will put a coat of varnish as a finish.

Note that in many cases I will not need the glazing step, but will instead have multiple sessions of the Second Painting (OK, otherwise known as the Third Painting, the Fourth Painting, etc. until the painting looks right to me).