I thought I would share my favorite art supplies since I will be live painting at Cinequest Film Festival as of... TODAY! You may see me using some of these materials if you come by Camera 12 Cinemas, where I will be painting in the windows, alongside artists Mike Borja and Denis Korkh.
A few things about this event. Each artist will be painting over the course of 10 days, from February 25th-March 6th. We each have a blank 4' x 6' canvas and an easel. The live painting is also a contest and you can vote for your favorite painting. A stipend for supplies was set up for each of us at University Art Center. I went yesterday to get my materials so I can get started today. The live painting event will culminate at the Filmmaker Awards Ceremony on March 7th, where the artists will be acknowledged and the winner announced.
I never paint in front of other people. Sure, when I was in school I had to or when I sketch in public or get together with a small group of artists, but not as a focal point in a window in front of strangers. That's one of the reasons why I decided to do it, because it sort of freaks me out. Also, it will be on a 4' x 6' canvas and I have been working on smaller paper and wood for the last 5 years. Going back to canvas should be interesting. I will be getting rid of the tooth of the canvas by applying gesso and sanding down the surface until it is more like working on wood or masonite. This was a technique I learned in art school and formerly used.
I learned so much about art supplies and techniques while in school. I made my own artist books (hand bound, typed or screen printed text, screen print or lithograph images inside), learned how to prepare surfaces to work on, learned printmaking (lithography, screen printing, mono printing), encaustic, ceramic sculpture, plastic mould-making, jewelry (casting, welding), aluminum and steel wire sculptures. I learned how to use graphite powder, charcoal, pastels, oil pastels, inks, watercolor, acrylic, oil paint. It was great to learn how to use these materials and then decide what I liked and didn't like. I have found myself moving between different materials and techniques, but I have also found myself keeping it simple.
I was frequently an oil painter in school and out, but moved away from it because of the toxicity when you don't have proper ventilation. When I did paint with oils, my professors always tried to get me to apply more paint, but I continued to paint thin layers. I just never liked an impasto or thick surface for my own work. That's why I was drawn to screen printing, lithography, watercolor and ink. You have to create any depth through thin layers. In my last year of school, I focused on screen printing and mixed media work for my graduation show, using a specially mixed gesso surface on wood with graphite, charcoal and FW Artists' Acrylic Inks.
One technique I did not learn in school was block printing. I carve and print blocks for artwork and for the thank you notes I send to customers with their purchases.
For the Cinequest live painting event, I think I will be using acrylic paint. I thought about oils, but I'm not sure how happy movie-goers will be with that smell and it may have been way too long since I've used them. These days, although I have been using gouache and watercolor frequently, I still regularly use acrylic paint for portrait commissions. I will be bringing watercolor and gouache to sketch while I am there as well.
Materials I Love:
- Yasutomo Waterproof Liquid Sumi Ink
- Gouache - a variety of brands I have collected over the years
- Watercolor - a variety of brands I have collected over the years
- Sennelier French Artists' Watercolor (a recent gift from my mom)
- Liquitex and sometimes Golden acrylic paint
- Cheap Princeton Snap! brushes from The Aresenal
- A random variety of brushes I've had for years, cheap to expensive
- Paper - Arches watercolor paper for watercolor, gouache and Sumi ink, BFKRives printmaking paper for Sumi ink and block printing
- Wood - salvaged or recycled wood. The weird sizes and odd shapes make me think up creative ideas. Also, the variety of wood is always fun to work with.
- A damn good sketchbook that allows me to use dry or wet media. Lately, I love my Kunst & Papier binder board sketchbook. It's acid-free and you can decorate the cover.
- A heap of rags
- Masking tape
- Milan gigante eraser - I've had this giant eraser since art school! That's about a decade. I have two small pieces of it left. Get one. You won't regret it.
- My Talenti Gelato water cup (pistachio, of course!). I love that I can tighten it closed and take it with me on the road.
- My favorite pencil sharpener I bought in Maine many years ago
- Salt and rubbing alcohol for cool effects with watercolors